Prayer In Public Schools Organizer Says He’s Not Giving Up

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UPDATED: Friday May 3, 2013 5:51 PM

The organizer of the effort to place prayer in public schools on the Ohio ballot acknowledges he's back to square one, but vows to press on.

"We're going to redo whatever it takes," said Pastor Henry Johnson.  "We're going to redo the petition format and make sure it meets the criteria of the Attorney General and we're going to get it done."

Attorney General Mike DeWine rejected the petitions for the "Amendment to Return Prayer to Our Public Schools" because of technical flaws.

DeWine says the petition failed to contain language about the proposed constitutional amendment and its summary.  

It also did not include the signature of the petition circulator -- a legal requirement.

"Prayer in public school showed us respect for authority, and that's missing," said Johnson.  "It showed there is something beyond us that was vital.  It sets a moral standard by having prayer in school."

If corrections are made and given the green light by DeWine, the group still faces several hurdles to get the issue on the statewide ballot.

More than 200,000 total valid signatures will be required, collected from at least 44 of Ohio's 88 counties.

"I think if we get the format together, I think if we get out the word, I think the state of Ohio will agree with us that we would rather have prayer rather have prayer in school than arsenals in schools," said Johnson.

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