Amelia school leaders apologize over school prayer ‘misunderstanding’

AMELIA COUNTY, Va. -- School administrators in Amelia County have apologized to students and their parents over the way the school handled a recent situation that involved prayer in school.

A group of students at Amelia High School was questioned by school leaders Thursday while praying at school, Amelia Schools superintendent Dr. Jack McKinley said in a letter to parents.

The prayer, McKinley said, was taking place during "non-instructional time."

"There was a misunderstanding and miscommunication from the high school administration as to how the situation was addressed," McKinley said. "No students were disciplined as a result of this incident, but we do recognize that the situation could’ve been handled better and we are committed to learning from this incident in moving forward as a stronger school community."

School leaders met with students and parents Friday. School administrators said they have apologized to the affected students and parents over "the manner in which the situation had been handled."

"Amelia County Public Schools respects the right of all students to engage in student-initiated, student-led prayer during non-structural time," Dr. McKinley said.

This is a developing story. Witnesses to the situation can send news tips and photos here.