Prayer at football games continues at some schools

Prayer at football games continues at some schools


6 News Anchor/Reporter

LOUDON (WATE) - It's a tradition, right before the National Anthem at Loudon High School football games, for a local pastor to say a prayer over the loudspeaker. 

Pastor Brian Courtney from the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia said the prayer Friday night.

He said he's sad prayer has been banned over the loudspeaker at Soddy-Daisy High School after a student there said they were offended and contacted the Freedom From Religion Foundation in Wisconsin. 

"I understand the student would have uncomfortableness. I understand that. But I think also, perhaps, what about all the people who were comfortable with it?" Courtney asked.

Several Loudon fans we spoke with say they hope what happened in Soddy-Daisy never happens at their school.

"I think that student ought to go and read the Bible before he makes this against the school. I mean, one person? Come on. I say put him aside and say the prayer," said Donna McKee.

"When a tragedy hits those schools, and there's a shooting or there's a big drug deal that kills a bunch of kids, the first thing they want to say is pray for our school or pray for our kids. If you never take it out, you never have to ask for it," said Tommy Clemmers.

Football game prayer policies differ widely in local school districts.

In Anderson County, some schools observe a moment of silence before a game.

In Sevier County, there is a prayer before some football games.

In Blount County, there was a student-led prayer at William Blount High School Friday night.

In Knox County, there was no prayer at Hardin Valley Academy Friday night. There was a moment of silence at the Powell game.

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