Morristown teen starts petition to protect student prayer

Morristown teen starts petition to protect student prayer

Posted:
"There will be some people who accept it, some people who won't," Justin Ferrell said. "There will be some people who accept it, some people who won't," Justin Ferrell said.
Ferrell's grandfather, Jimmie Hollifield, is a minister. He says he is proud of what his grandson is doing Ferrell's grandfather, Jimmie Hollifield, is a minister. He says he is proud of what his grandson is doing

By JESSA LEWIS
6 News Reporter

MORRISTOWN (WATE) - A Morristown teen has started a petition to hoping to make prayer more accessible and more accepted in local schools.

"I understand education is important, but also I think they need to have the free time if they want to pray or (if) they want to read their Bible, I think they should be allowed to," Justin Ferrell said.

The American Civil Liberties Union works to defend students' right to express their religious opinions and to pray in school, but Ferrell wants rules put in place to protect kids from any kind of discrimination based on their religious or non-religious beliefs.

"It would have inspired me a lot, especially if I didn't know Jesus, if I saw somebody reading the Bible," Ferrell said. "If I had questions, I know they could help me find my spiritual faith."

Ferrell said he knows the petition will face challenges.

"There will be some people who accept it, some people who won't," he said.

Ferrell's grandfather, Jimmie Hollifield, is a minister. He said he is proud of what his grandson is doing, and hopes others will realize it is his grandson's choice to pursue this endeavor.

"If there's folks out there that don't want to receive it, that's their privilege, but it's also our privilege and his privilege to exercise their faith," Hollifield explained.

Some Morristown residents say they are glad someone is doing something about prayer in schools.

"We need to have the Bible back in school.We need to put God back in school. We need to pledge allegiance to the flags, just like we did in the old days that our country was founded on," Beatrice Wilson said. 

The Hamblen County residents say the petition can't hurt.

"If kids want to pray, if teachers want to pray, that's fine with me," Patty Stockton said. "I think it would be great."

Since Thursday, Ferrell has already collected 180 signatures. Once he gets 15,000, he said he will take his petition to the Tennessee State Senate.

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