Sunday, March 06, 2016

Kentucky School Supt. Backs Prayer vs. Atheists

When Bowling Green, Kentucky Superintendent Gary Fields first received a complaint from the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) about a photograph of coach Kevin Wallace praying with high school football players before a game, he simply ignored it. After the second legal threat from the FFRF months later, Fields replied to the atheists and told local new sources that students have every right to pray.
"A student may lead a prayer before they have their lunch or breakfast at school. They may have a prayer that they lead together before a sporting event or a band competition but once again, that's the right of the student.”
-- Gary Fields, Superintendent, Bowling Green Independent Schools

“[The prayer] was done while I was here as an assistant and I felt the tradition was a good one to continue. A moment to give thanks for our talents and the opportunities that we have been given.”
-- Coach Kevin Wallace
For background, click headlines below to read previous articles:

Kentucky School Censors Christmas from Charlie Brown

Judge Jesus Says 'Stop Praying' to California School

Ban Christians From Missouri Schools, Atheists Say

Fortunately, many public schools stand for prayer against atheist threats:

Ohio School Board Wants Prayer, Ignoring Atheists

North Carolina Citizens Demand Prayer in Public School

Let us Pray in School: It's the Law in Missouri

Prayer Stays in Florida School, Opposing Atheists

Wyoming School Allows Prayer Under Lawsuit Threat

Texas School Supt. Tells Anti-prayer Atheists to Go Fly a Kite

Also read Supreme Court Justice Scalia Said Government Should Favor God of the Bible

-- From "Praying at a football game starts separation of church and state debate" by Lyndsey Gough, WBKO-TV12 (Bowling Green, KY) 2/22/16

A published photo of Bowling Green Purples football coach Kevin Wallace praying with his players before a game has sparked a controversy of separation of church and state.

Someone saw the photo and article, and notified the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which is based in Wisconsin. They sent Bowling Green Schools a letter, saying that coaches praying in school-related events was unconstitutional.

"It wasn't a local stake-holder. It wasn't a local citizen or a parent that contacted us so I did not respond with a letter at that time but I did respond after the second letter in January just to make them aware that I had received their letters and we took appropriate steps," [Supt.] Fields said.

But under the First Amendment, students have the right to lead themselves in prayer. Fields says that is what was happening to begin with.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "City school district responds to church, state separation complaint" by Aaron Mudd, Bowling Green Daily News 2/20/16

The first [FFRF] letter is dated Sept. 22 and references a photograph taken by a Daily News photographer that shows Wallace kneeling in prayer with a group of players before a football game Sept. 4 against St. Xavier High School.

[Supt.] Fields responded with a brief letter Jan. 28 acknowledging he received the previous two letters.

“We confirmed the pre-game prayer that was featured in the Bowling Green Daily News article was student led and that all moments that include prayer in our schools are student led,” he told the Daily News.

Fields added the district will continue to comply with the First Amendment and that student prayer is a “student decision.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Click headlines below to read previous articles:

Florida Bans Prayer at Christian Football Game

North Dakota Bans Prayer at Catholic School Football Game

Atheists Threaten Indiana School Coach over Students' Prayer

Illinois School Agrees with Atheists, NOT Students

Football Coach Forced to Stop Praying AFTER Games in Washington

Arizona Schools Ban Christian Football Coaches