BLACKSBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Cherokee County parents are sharing their thoughts after new signs popped up around their children’s schools.
Members of Hopewell Baptist Church in Blacksburg took it upon themselves to raise money for the signs and placed them as close as possible to their children’s schools, without being on school property.
“I’ve seen what prayer can do in schools,” Virgil Hampton said.
Virgil Hampton worked in the Cherokee County School District for almost 30 years.
“We go through a lot of trials and tribulations in the school system,” Hampton said. “You can’t have enough prayer.”
That’s why Hampton decided to have “School Prayer Zone” signs made to surround the schools in his community.
Hampton went to property owners near each school in Blacksburg and asked to put up the signs, and every property owner agreed.
Clay Greer lives right next door to Blacksburg Elementary School and has a daughter in the school system. He said the signs were a no-brainer for him.
“That was a simple answer,” Clay Greer said. “I said, ‘Yes, let’s go.'”
“The kids in the school are our future and we need to pray for them,” Greer said. “And we need to pray for our teachers, because the way society is now, it’s not good.”
There are now six signs around the four schools’ campuses, and, so far, Greer said he’s heard nothing but positive things from other community members.
“People say ‘Where do I get a sign like that? I want a sign for my yard. I don’t live near the school, but I want a sign,'” he said.
Hampton told 7 News he thinks prayer is like an extra security measure, serving as another layer of protection for those we care about.
“You can pray for these resource officers and administrators who are there, taking care of our schools and our children,” he said.
Hampton said he hopes they’ve started a trend.
“It’d be great to see it spread like a wildfire,” he said. “I’d like to see this all over the United States, not just in South Carolina. That’d be wonderful.”
Each sign cost about $100 a piece, but the money for the six signs was raised in only a week.
Church members told 7 News the prayer zones are open to any and all religions.
Hampton is now challenging other churches across Cherokee County, and other counties, to put up signs near more schools.