PICKENS, S.C. (AP) -- The Pickens County School Board has given final approval to changing its policy on prayer at its meetings.

The panel voted 3-2 on Monday night to end the practice of having students lead prayer before the meeting. Instead, the board will open its regular public meetings with a nonsectarian invocation given voluntarily by a board member.

The policy also forbids the mention of the name of Jesus. One board member abstained from the vote.

Several months ago, the Freedom From Religion Foundation threatened to sue the school district unless it stopped student-led prayer at its meetings.

Parents wanted to continue the student-led prayer. But school board attorneys said they were not sure the practice would survive a legal challenge.

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