When the Rockingham County School Board votes on whether or not to begin meetings with a prayer, they will be doing so without the input of board member Leonard Pryor.
Pryor, who was elected to the North Carolina board in November 2010, has resigned from his post in protest of the vote, according to Rockingham Now.
While the board currently opens meetings with a moment of silence, members recently decided to vote about whether they should open with prayer instead, according to WGHP. The vote will take place on May 13.
Pryor sent a letter of resignation to the board chairwoman on May 1, explaining that he is opposed to the boards’ increased politicization. The letter, obtained by WFMY, reads in part:
… it was my understanding that our board was non-partisan, and that providing our children with a quality education was paramount. It was my hope that politics would play a very minimal role in the focus of our board, but much to my chagrin, this is not the case. The widespread polarization in politics has found its way into Rockingham County Schools and is detracting from what I deemed to be the role of the School Board.
Pryor also states that he is afraid that consideration of the issue could lead to legal action against the board and its individual members.
As Patheos.com points out, Pryors’ religious affiliation is unclear, and he ends the letter saying he will “pray that our board will focus its efforts.” Pryor is still listed as a board member on the Rockingham County Schools website, but the board plans to appoint a replacement until his term expires in December 2014, according to the News & Record.