CHINO (CBSLA.com) — Members of a local school board were under fire by angry parents Thursday after voting to keep fighting to include prayer at their meetings.
"I don't believe it's appropriate for the church to be speaking for the school board," said one parent, while another said: "you cannot bring your religion to the school board."
The move comes amid a recent ruling by a federal judge that banned the school board of the Chino Valley Unified School District from including religious elements.
Board members were accused of turning meetings into sermons, even inviting the pastor of their own mega-church to the open the sessions.
The school board president himself was in the hot seat last summer after he went on a rant about marriage and vaccinations.
"It is stated upon our foundation and sealed in our hearts that a union between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, so children may know and be raised by their biological parents," said Andrew Cruz last July.
CBS2 tried to get comment from Cruz about the judge's ruling and their decision to appeal, but he declined to speak.
Speaking in favor of prayer at the meetings was another pastor, who is also from the board president's local mega-church.
"Congress has opened with prayer. We just saw Judge Scalia's service in the Supreme Court and what did they do? They prayed," said Jack Hibbs of the Calvary Chapel in Chino Hills.
When asked why pray before a school board meeting, the pastor replied: "for two reasons: it's a First Amendment right, but number 2, it's in the tradition of our great nation."
The board is scheduled to hold a special meeting Monday to decide how to move forward with their appeal.
for more features.