Friday, May 10, 2013

Christian Disqualified in Texas School Relay Race

After Derrick Hayes of Columbus High School crossed the finish line, winning the track event, he and his parents said he pointed to the sky in thanks to God, but the gesture was considered "celebratory taunting," and after a University Interscholastic League (UIL) judge approached Hayes, the team's win was reversed.  After much public outcry, including a demand for investigation by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the entire story changed, as Derrick and his parents agreed to a written statement saying that his gesture was NOT thanks to God, and thus his religious liberty was not infringed.  The disqualification stands.

For background, read about myriad attacks on Christians via public schools (see article list at bottom).

The root issue is American Religious Liberty vs. Anti-Christian Totalitarianism

-- From "Track Team Disqualified for Thanking God" by Todd Starnes, 5/4/13

Robert O’Connor, the superintendent of the school district filed an appeal . . .

The UIL said they do not have a rule banning religious expression – it’s just a matter of where you express it.

“You can do whatever you want to in terms of prayer, kneeling or whatever you want to once you get out of the competition area. You just can’t do it in the competition area. It goes back to the taunting rule. I can’t taunt my opponent,” the superintendent told

The Texas Tribune reports that Gov. Rick Perry has called for the UIL to investigate the incident and take whatever action is necessary to ensure religious freedom and expression is protected at competitions.

In his letter, Perry said he would “not tolerate the suppression of religious freedom anywhere.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "UIL: Religion had no role in track athlete's disqualification" by Joe Trahan, WFAA-TV8 Sports (Dallas) 5/6/13

The [UIL] release paints a much different picture than what the athlete's parent told local media outlets.

. . . The report also contains an excerpt from a letter Derrick Hayes submitted to the UIL as part of the investigation saying, “Although I am very thankful for all God has given me and blessed me with, on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at the Regional Track Meet in Kingsville, TX, my actions upon winning the 4x100 relay were strictly the thrill of victory. With this being said, I do not feel my religious rights or freedoms were violated.”

The report also contained part of a letter from his parents, KC and Stacey.

“It was not our intention to force the issues that our son’s religious freedom was violated. Nor do we feel that way now," the parents said. "After discussing this with our son, we have come to the conclusion that his religious rights were not violated.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.