Future DeSoto County superintendents favor prayer in school - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Future DeSoto County superintendents favor prayer in school

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

A runoff election August 25 will determine who will take over as the next DeSoto County Schools Superintendent, and now the candidates say want to see prayer back in schools. 

Cory Uselton and Jim Ferguson are vying for the title as leader of the school district. They'll face off Tuesday, August 25th, because the current superintendent is retiring. 

In a press release sent out Friday, run-off candidate Jim Ferguson said if elected, he wants to propose to put prayer back in schools.

"I want to educate the whole child. I want to build character and reinforce the values that are important to [people in] DeSoto County," Ferguson said. He is currently the chief academic officer for high schools in DeSoto County.

Candidate Cory Uselton, principal at Desoto Central High School, said he too supports prayer being put back in schools if he's elected.

"As superintendent, I plan to protect our student's constitutional right to pray on school grounds," Uselton said.

Parents have mixed reactions about the issue.

"We need to have prayer everywhere," Mary Pirtle said.

"We already have prayer in our schools and the kids are doing it themselves," parent Jan Harvey said.

Other school systems in Mississippi have been hit with large fines, even lawsuits for violating orders and allowing school-sponsored prayer.

DeSoto County Schools spokesperson released this statement Friday about their current policy when it comes to prayer in schools.

"Our school district has a board policy that mirrors the law passed by the Mississippi Legislature in 2013. All students may voluntarily pray, and the district may not discriminate against the student based on a religious viewpoint."

Stay with WMC Action News 5 for the results of the runoff election next Tuesday.  

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