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Maryland Attorney General Bars Prayer Exercise in Public School Read over Loudspeaker

Maryland Attorney General Thomas B. Finan held today that a prayer exercise in a public school was unconstitutional. However, he also indicated that a really voluntary religious ceremony might pass a court test.

The disputed prayer was read over a loudspeaker as part of a student-directed exercise at the Fort Hill school in Cumberland. Thomas G. Pullen, State School Superintendent, asked the Attorney General for an opinion.

Mr. Finan said that the situation at the Cumberland school was similar to that in a Pennsylvania school which was the basis for the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last June, barring Bible reading and prayers from public schools.