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Praying mother talks about return to Concord High campus

Last modified: 9/13/2013 10:23:16 AM
The mother who has been praying on Concord High School’s campus since last February said yesterday that she is pleased by administrators’ decision to let her return to campus to pray silently.

“I’m so happy that I’m back, and I feel like I’m welcomed by the school,” Lizarda Urena said yesterday.

Urena began praying out loud on school property in February, but was told in July by Principal Gene Connolly that she would no longer be allowed to do so this school year. Throughout the end of summer, national pro- and anti-religious organizations weighed in on the issue, and Urena sought legal representation to maintain her right to pray. Last week, Urena returned to campus but has been praying silently, and she said Connolly has been very friendly since she has been back.

Superintendent Chris Rath said Monday that the district hasn’t made a definitive decision about whether or not Urena can continue praying on campus, but that administrators will evaluate her actions on a daily basis.

Urena said she’s been welcomed by the students since she returned to campus, with one student even asking her to pray for a friend who was in the hospital.

She said she was not trying to threaten anyone when she prayed out loud last year, but she has been praying “very silently” since she returned. She has also signed in at the main office every morning this year in compliance with the school’s visitor policies. Urena said she believes it is God’s work that allowed her to be back on campus praying for the students.

“I feel so happy,” she said.

(Kathleen Ronayne can be reached at 369-3309 or kronayne@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @kronayne.)


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