Pregame prayer ban upsets some parents - WSMV News 4

Pregame prayer ban upsets some parents

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COLUMBIA, TN (WSMV) -

On the first night of football for many schools Columbia Central High School is facing controversy over pregame prayer.

A letter sent out by an unnamed principal resulted in questions over what can and cannot happen on the football field.

Coaches were allegedly told not to pray with or for their players on the field.

The letter has upset many in the community.

"Whenever they can't have their coaches there with them, I think that's discouraging to them," parent Brandy Crowell said. "And then it makes them further not understand or makes it seem like it's something wrong."

Players take the field every week knowing they could get hurt. That's just one of the motivations to pray.

"Christian kids on the football field are going to pray," former Columbia Central High football player Barney Burns said. "Regardless of what the school board says, or what the superintendent of schools says. Can't stop it."

Burns said he used to pray a lot during games, and so did his children.

Crowell added that to forbid coaches from praying is wrong, and it's misleading to players who look up to coaches.

"It would be no different than telling your kids that you should pray and you should do this, you should pray before you eat and you should pray before you go to sleep at night, but we're not going to do that because we're your parents," Crowell said.

The Maury County superintendent's office would not comment on where the letter came from, what principal sent it out or what it actually said. They would only say the policy has been in effect for three years.

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