Louisburg, N.C. — Residents of Franklin County took their dispute with the school system to a higher court Friday evening. Outside the county courthouse, they gathered to pray for the return of prayer to high school graduation ceremonies.
The Franklin County school board voted unanimously to remove the prayer after a parent filed a complaint with the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina.
While they may disagree with the law, they voted to uphold it nonetheless.
"The law was very clear on this point, that the government could not be sponsoring prayers," ACLU of North Carolina legal director Chris Brook said.
Graduating seniors who attended Friday's vigil said it was their rights at stake.
Jessica Woodburn, a member of the Class of 2012, said, "I believe with every depth of my heart that this is right, that this is what we're called to do, to bring glory to God."
Friday's gathering offered the community a chance to pray for their graduating seniors outside of the pomp and circumstance of their official commencement.
"It's so exciting," said soon-to-be grad Vanessa Parker. "It feels great that we have so much support from the community."
Franklin County's three high schools Franklinton, Louisburg and Bunn graduate on Saturday at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. respectively.