Last week, a Tennessee county school board told coaches and teachers that they could not lead students in prayer.
So faithful students and parents decided to take matters into their own hands instead.
When Americans United for Separation of Church and State sent a letter to Putnam County Schools claiming that there had been multiple instances of praying and proselytizing at two high schools in the district, the school board told teachers and administrators that such activities would have to end, as Fox 17 reported.
“The case law not allowing prayer or proselytizing is clear. Courts have consistently ruled that prayer and proselytizing can not be sponsored by schools or school personnel,” a memo from administrators read.
“As a district, we absolutely understand the importance of prayer in the lives of our students, faculty, and staff members. We support the right of students to participate in and lead spontaneous prayers. That right is and will continue to be protected,” they told local media in a statement.
“We also understand that faculty and staff members can not lead or participate in the spontaneous student-led prayers,” they said.
Well, the students who had previously enjoyed participating in a voluntary post-game prayer decided to take matters into their own hands and defiantly continue the tradition.
“We do realize this is a public school, but it has always been optional for players to pray, and has been a voluntary event. Players that still want to pray will have to do it on their own,” parent Dustin Whitefield told WZTV.
“After the game, players and cheerleaders that choose to will be on the field praying on their own. A group of parents will be going out on the field to support them,” he said. “We will join hands and encircle them from a distance as a sign of protection and solidarity in choosing to continue to pray. This is a parent-led event! We are encouraging anyone that would like to show their support to please join us.”
And that’s exactly what they did.
Following Friday’s game, students and parents from both schools gathered on the field to pray and a few stirring images of the event quickly went viral.
What a shot. Student-led prayer in Putnam County, TN. https://t.co/JOAVnWOTmD
— Jennifer Waddell (@JenniferWFox17) September 20, 2021
Praise the Lord! What an amazing display of faith, freedom, and the values that built our country.
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