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Atheist groups protest prayers at Franklin County meetings

Written by The Associated Press | Aug 20, 2012 11:52 AM

(Greencastle) -- Two atheist groups are challenging a Franklin County school board's practice of saying prayers before beginning meetings.

The push comes from Pennsylvania Non-Believers and American Atheists Inc.

Shortly after the Greencastle-Antrim School Board opened a meeting with the Lord's Prayer on Thursday, two people spoke against the practice.

Carl Silverman of PA Non-Believers called it "a clear constitutional violation" and threatened legal action. He said he has gotten complaints from district residents who were too afraid to come forward.

Superintendent Greg Hoover said he had been attending board meetings for a quarter of a century and the meetings had always started with the Lord's Prayer. He said "No one's ever said a word." Board members declined comment.

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