Group complains about prayer before games in DeSoto County - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Group complains about prayer before games in DeSoto County

Controversy is brewing in DeSoto County over prayer before sporting events, leading district leaders to examine the practice. Controversy is brewing in DeSoto County over prayer before sporting events, leading district leaders to examine the practice.

(WMC-TV) - Controversy is brewing in DeSoto County over prayer before sporting events, leading district leaders to examine the practice.

DeSoto County Schools recently received a letter of complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, explaining that the U.S. Supreme Court has deemed prayer through a public address system at a public school event is illegal.

"It's illegal," said the organization's Annie Laurie Gaylor. "It's exclusionary. It's the school promoting Christianity upon a captive audience. It is impermissible under supreme court precedent."

The letter is the result of an anonymous complaint filed on the Freedom From Religion Foundation's website. It is addressed to DeSoto County Schools Superintendent Milton Kuykendall claiming that prayers are given over the loudspeaker at high school football games, basketball games, and sporting events.  

The complaint also claims students are often encouraged by their teachers to pray before meals, and a prayer is also held each year at graduation.

"Graduation may not have prayer," Gaylor said. "Can't be a daily prayer, can't be a prayer over the intercom or PA system, and there can't be prayer at football games."

Kuykendall responded to the complaint in a written statement.

"We are investigating the matter and the DeSoto County School District will make a decision once our attorney has completed the investigation," he said.

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