School district bans coaches from praying with athletes

By: Lori Wilson

Updated:

COWETA COUNTY, Ga. - School employees in Coweta County will no longer be allowed to participate in student-led prayer.

A group called Freedom From Religion wrote a letter to the school board raising the issue.

The complaint came after the East Coweta High School football coach was seen bowing his head in prayer with players after a game.

The Coweta County Schools superintendent took the concerns to the school board’s attorney.

“We were more inquiring about what role can our employee have in that student-led prayer,” Superintendent Steve Barker said.


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The attorney’s guidance said in part:

“Representatives of the school cannot participate in any student-initiated or student-led prayer or other worship while acting in their official capacity. For instance, they cannot join hands, bow their heads, take a knew or commit another act that otherwise manifests approval with the students’ religious experience.”

Channel 2’s Lori Wilson spoke to community members who had strong opinions about the case.

“What kind of leader would you rather have than somebody that would pray for their children, for your children, for all of our children?” Alice Thompson said.

“I am against that, but if that’s the school rules, that’s the school rules. But we will pray in our heart for them,” one community member said.

"They spend a lot of time with those kids and they know them and they should be allowed to do it,” another person said.

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