Double Talk on School Prayer in Georgia


Here’s an interesting situation in Lumpkin County, Georgia, where a high school coach and some 50 students decided to pray for two hours in the coach’s office rather than go to class. And the superintendent of the school system is engaging in some serious double talk on the issue. Here’s what happened:

The spontaneous prayer at Lumpkin County High School has become the talk of the town. Lumpkin County Schools Superintendent Dewey Moye said that a student started the prayer in a coach’s office at 7:30 a.m. and it lasted more than two hours.

“It was a student-led initiative. The student showed up at the coach’s office and the coach did pray with them and it went into the school day, over into the first period of the day,” Moye said.

Moye says the student who initiated the prayer is part of the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter. The superintendent said that before the prayer ended, 50 students had joined in.

Now here comes the double talk. Moye says that everyone was acting within their constitutional rights — but that they can’t do it again.

Moye said that the students were within their rights.

“I believe it’s a Constitutional right to pray, yes I do. I believe they can do so at their desk, as long as they do not disrupt the school day,” Moye said.

Moye says he realizes what happened Wednesday cannot happen again. He admits some parents called to complain about the prayer, but he says that going forward, procedures and policies will be followed.

While he said that he will not discipline the coach and students, Moye says from now on, there will be no prayers during school hours.

No, you don’t get to have it both ways. If you genuinely believe that they were acting within their constitutional rights, then you can’t prevent them from doing it again. And of course, this was disruptive to the school day because they didn’t go to class when they were supposed to. This is all nonsense. The coach should be disciplined for it and the students should be given unexcused absences from class.

Comments

  1. says

    The coach should be disciplined for it and the students should be given unexcused absences from class.

    Agreed.

  2. Reginald Selkirk says

    where a high school coach and some 50 students decided to pray for two hours in the coach’s office rather than go to class.

    Six.

  3. Trebuchet says

    For those who haven’t followed the link in No. 2 (which I recommend), he’s not saying it was only six students, which was the way I initially interpreted it. The prayer session went on for SIX FREAKING HOURS!!! With FOUR faculty members involved.

    And that coach must have some office, if you can get 50 people into it. Of course, he’s most likely the best paid and most important person in the entire district.

  4. Reginald Selkirk says

    Moye says the student who initiated the prayer is part of the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter.

    So what do you think really happened? Star athlete about to flunk a test and become ineligible to play?

  5. Randomfactor says

    Of course, he’s most likely the best paid and most important person in the entire district.

    Which effectively makes him immune.

  6. erichoug says

    High school kids praying in the coaches office for 6 hours = Bullshit!

    There is something else going on here but we aren’t likely to ever get the real story.

  7. Doug Little says

    otrame @9,

    Algebra is fun, hell I’d rather do Computability problems and that’s saying something.

  8. doublereed says

    SIX HOURS?

    I assume they had internet access and their mobile phones with them. Jesus!

  9. thumper1990 says

    A 6 hour prayer isn’t a fucking prayer, is it? It’s a fucking worship service that the fucking Roman Catholics would be proud of. I don’t recall the US Constitution saying anything along the lines of “Every student has the right to doss off lessons, so long as they claim they did it for Jesus.”

    Since it was the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the coach who started it, I am far more inclined to believe the coach needed extra time to discuss football tactics (and/or other sports) and saw this as a clever way to get away with his athletes missing lessons to do so.

  10. Michael Heath says

    It’d be interesting hear how this turned into a 50 person prayer and how they were able to make it last for 2 hours.

  11. says

    erichough @7: High school kids praying in the coaches office for 6 hours = Bullshit!

    There is something else going on here but we aren’t likely to ever get the real story.

    Yeah. This feels more than a little like a shaggy dog story. I was involved in some long-ass prayer and worship sessions when I was a good little evangelical, but a spontaneous 6-hour session that somehow magically pulled in fifty students? Either they’re covering something else, this didn’t actually happen, or it’s some combination of the two.

    Maybe it’s a big sociological experiment to test the credulity of Georgians.

  12. grumpyoldfart says

    As I mentioned on another blog (can’t remember which one) those students would have loved the idea of skipping school for a few hours, and the praying sort of legitimized their absence, but I’ll bet that when the coach calls for another act of rebellion they’ll say, “Six more hours of boring prayer? Fuck that! You can do it on your own this time.”

  13. says

    I’d be a little cautious before accusing Moye of doubletalk. What this Atlanta station is reporting constitutes doubletalk, but note that they are not directly quoting him on the parts that would be doubletalk. The only direct quote we have (from your blockquotes) is the following: “I believe it’s a Constitutional right to pray, yes I do. I believe they can do so at their desk, as long as they do not disrupt the school day.”
    So when this Atlanta station claims that “Moye said that the students were within their rights,” my question would be did they misinterpret his statements to mean this? Specifically, did the reporter take the direct quote of “I believe it’s a Constitutional right to pray” and interpret this as meaning that he said they were within their rights?

  14. D. C. Sessions says

    It’s a fucking worship service that the fucking Roman Catholics would be proud of.

    Do the Catholics do that? The only thing I’ve heard of that’s on that scale is Yom Kippur, and the only reason that YK goes that long is because there’s nothing else to do — no food, no drink, no work, no sex, …

  15. skinnercitycyclist says

    I am far more inclined to believe the coach needed extra time to discuss football tactics (and/or other sports) and saw this as a clever way to get away with his athletes missing lessons to do so.

    So this passes for “clever” in Georgia? I would just add “subtle.”

    Actually, HS athletes miss classes all the time, and in fact, that would have been a legitimate absence (not that I think it is good).

  16. lumpkinparent says

    As a parent of a Lumpkin County high school student that is NOT supportive of what happened at the school that day, let me say I am glad the truth is finally coming out. One important fact seems to consistently be absent from all accounts though. The child, that lost child that came to the coach that morning, was HIS OWN CHILD!!! Yes, you read that right. The stories state the child did not sleep well the night before…where was dear old dad then or on the ride to school for that matter?”. Ok, lets just say dad didn’t notice junior having a problem my question then is Why, when junior came to him, did he not say can we talk about this later or, if it was bugging junior that bad, did he not call his supervisor & request someone cover for him for first period so he could handle a family matter. Oh & on another note…..cell phones do not work in the majority of the high school, the signal is blocked or something, so how could this have been random with students texting others to come join in? Lets face it, there is A LOT more to this than we are being told. Lumpkin County seems to think they can do what they want & rules don’t apply to them. It is time someone showed them there are consequences in life. I am ashamed to be a parent in this county & yes, I do believe in God, but I also believe in following the law. Plain & simple! They broke the law, the students skipped class, the administration condoned it & all involved deserve punishment! What are we teaching our children? Oh & FYI for any of the supporters that read this ….freedom of religion means the government can not force a religion on you, you are free to practice what you choose. It does not mean you are free to pray, promote religion, & save children at a public school whenever you please! Educate yourself supporters!

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