Community looking to restore Christian plaque at Wytheville school

School board members hosted town meeting Thursday night

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WYTHEVILLE, Va. - Spiller Elementary in Wytheville County has received much attention these past few weeks after Superintendent Jeff Perry removed a Christian plaque from the cafeteria.

"This is not a reflection of our personal beliefs," Perry said. "We've got to follow the law."

On Thursday night, school board members hosted a town meeting at George Wythe High School where Perry explained the legal reasons behind the removal and gave the dozens in attendance the opportunity to voice their opinions. The school received backlash from what Perry called a "predominately Protestant community."

The plaque, posted on a wall in the lunchroom, read, "Our Father: We thank Thee for this food. Bless it to the nourishment of our bodies and our lives to Thy service. Amen."

Though the plaque was up for decades, only recently did the school receive a complaint from someone in the community, Perry said.

Back in May, the school board received a letter from The Freedom from Religion Foundation, based in Wisconsin, asking for the plaque to be removed.

Since Spiller Elementary is a public school, the school district's legal counsel said it clearly violated church and state laws.

Regardless, community members at the meeting brainstormed ways to bring back the plaque.

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