On September 17th, After The Football Game Between Upperman High School And Stone Memorial High School, The Players Gathered To Lead Prayer With The Overwhelming Support Of Their Parents And Community.
Photo Credit: Bob Vick / Facebook
The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –
A Washington D.C. based group, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, recently sent a letter to a Putnam County school district, scolding them for “instances of prayer and proselytizing” at Cookeville and Upperman high schools.
On their Facebook page, Americans United reported that after being alerted to church-state violations happening in Putnam County schools, they wrote to the district and that school administrators immediately responded to their letter “to make sure all policies and laws concerning prayer at school-sponsored activities are followed.”
In 1962 the Supreme Court ruled that it is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment for schools or school officials to initiate prayer in public schools and at public school events such as football games. However, this ruling does not prohibit the rights of students to pray on school grounds themselves or at school-sponsored events.
Putnam County Schools gave a statement to Fox 17 WZTV news saying that they understood that faculty members and staff could not lead prayer, while being supportive of the right of students to participate in and lead prayers. “As a district, we absolutely understand the importance of prayer in the lives of our students, faculty, and staff members.”
On September 17th, after the football game between Upperman High School and Stone Memorial High School, the players gathered to lead prayer with the overwhelming support of their parents and community.
Bob Vick, a Putnam County Schools alum shared a photo on Facebook of the players praying after the game with the following caption, “Satan’s power was defeated tonight, as the threat of a legal action to forbid prayer after the game was overwhelmed by player lead prayer supported by parents and fans in solidarity on Overall Field. God bless the Baxter and Stone players for their faith and courage.”
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Americans United, on their Twitter page, say they have been “protecting the wall of separation [between Church and State] since 1947!” The “national religious liberty watchdog group” announced on Twitter that the Putnam County players praying together was “A great WIN for C-S Separation!”
Twitter user @69BuickGS455 replied to Americans United’s post saying, “Yeah, I don’t think so. Looks to me like WE win!”
Trina (@Trina24340416) said, “Actually it backfired on you! The whole community came out to support these boys that said nothing will stop them from praying! Their post and pictures of the field full of people in prayer around them have been shared thousands of times!”
Bob Vick’s post of the players and community has been shared over three thousand times. In the comments of that post, Christa Leah Mullins, an Upperman High School parent, said, “We are a praying team and community and that will NEVER change. God wins. Always.”
About the Author:
Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and contributor to The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at email@example.com.