Shelby: Standing for the Star Spangled Banner at football games is an American tradition. And for some schools in Mississippi, standing for prayer at games is a tradition too. In years past, prayers have been said over the loudspeaker and sometimes even led by an administrator. But this year, that tradition is a little different. That is because the school has stopped doing the public prayers after a group, which says they are committed to keeping church and state separate, complained.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation wrote a letter to the district saying that quote, ‘the prayers before high school athletic events signify an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion.’ The group says that the prayers are illegal because they violate the First Amendment. And it is not just Mississippi, but the group also took aim at another district in Kentucky. So, the Desoto County school district decided to stop allowing prayers over the loudspeakers or prayers led by staff. Some students are happy with the change. And say that the public prayers made them uncomfortable.
Student: …was just kind of disappointed. It’s not really ignorant, but they just don’t think of other people and how that affects others.
Shelby: But the break from tradition has got others stirred up.
Student: I just think it’s time that we Christians stood up for what we believe in, instead of letting them take that right away from us.
Shelby: While some students and parents are upset, many say they understand the district’s change. But they won’t let it stop them from praying.
Kayla Andrada: In your name we pray. Amen. Amen.”
Shelby: Students like sophomore Kayla Andrada are now organizing prayers on their own.
Kayla: If you don’t want to pray, you don’t have to come. But if you’d like to, that’d be nice!
Shelby: Shelby Holliday, Channel One News.