Prayer at Public School Athletic Events
-Can We Get a Moment of-
If public schools are just that, public, then why is the issue of prayer in school such a
prominent and controversial debate especially when most of the public wants prayer in school?
The first amendment grants the right to free speech, yet everyday students are punished and
ridiculed for their beliefs. Is this a fair system? Every person has his or her own rituals and for
many students prayer is one of them.
Agreeing with this matter is Andy Johnson, a current high school football player who says, that "They [the students] should be able to say what they want. Freedom of speech. If they
asked the crowd to bow their heads in prayer, they don't have to." Unfortunately not everyone
feels the same, such as Jon Hall, a former high school football player who says "I don't agree
with it, that's saying you believe everyone is a Christian, and that's wrong. But a moment of
silence, that's fine because that's not religious."
The southern states, also known as the "Bible-belt" are the foundation of all the controversy stirring up the nation. At the beginning of the football season in August, Batesburg-
Leesville High School's student body president took a spot in the press box, microphone in hand,
and the fans stood without a sound as she said a prayer. Schools across the nation are asking themselves whether they should "continue a tradition" or follow a Supreme Court ruling that was made 2 months ago that "declare school-sponsored prayer at sporting events a violation of students' constitutional rights." (San Diego Union Tribune, 8-27-00, Amy Geier).
Representative Lindsay Graham of South Carolina stated that, " A prayer at a high school
football game asking that the players on the field not get hurt and the fans get home safely is in no way the establishment of religion by the government." And she's right. The students or groups who chose, sign-up, or are elected to say a pray, in no way, push a religion to those who might be of another faith, or those who are Atheists. During a time of international war, if the president led a prayer asking for the Lord to watch over the armed forces and protect their families during this
time of hostility, would it be a crime? Who wouldn't want any given soldier to make it back?
"My heart's for it, but I think a moment of silence is just as effective." Said Olins Hooks, a high school football fan. That idea is totally possible. No one would feel as though a faith is
being "pushed" on them, and at the same time everyone could choose if they...