GOP Candidate for NC House Wrongly Claims Prayer Is Banned in Schools

By Hemant Mehta

There are two candidates vying for a seat in the North Carolina House from District 23. The Democrat, Shelly Willingham, is the incumbent and he said at a recent forum he was all in on gun safety measures:

Willingham said some common-sense measures could prevent shootings and should be pursued: Universal background checks for all gun purchases; restoring cuts to funding for school counselors and school nurses; and investing in the state’s mental health treatment efforts.

He opposes arming teachers, too. Smart man. Let’s hope he wins another term.

His opponent is Republican Claiborne Holtzman, who thinks more guns is the solution to gun violence. But I was more interested in his views about school prayer:

Holtzman said new school policies need to be enacted that carry a greater penalty for disruptive behavior and bullying and allow teachers the ability to teach uninterrupted the students who truly want to learn instead of having to deal with unwanted behaviors from children who do not want to learn.

“Secondly, I believe that we need to allow prayer back in school for those that wish to pray without enduring criticism,” Holtzman said. “Thirdly, I believe that if we once again have order and a no-nonsense policy in reference to behaviors, we could cut down on the potential for this type of action.”

Let’s put aside, for a moment, the comment that will make every teacher’s eyes roll about how disruptive students should just be penalized more. (As if that would ever work.)

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