Several Local Schools Reflect On Prayer Before Football Games

Saturday, September 2nd 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Friday Football fever is here, and it's not just the game that’s getting attention. It's also the pre-game prayer.

School or student led prayers at Tulsa Public School games haven't happened in several years.

It's been a tradition at some other local schools.

But, this year, a Supreme Court ruling put an end to the student led pre-game prayer.

"It's been a tradition for years to have a prayer before games,” says Laurence Goins, Sand Springs.

Prayer was an important part of the pre-game in Green Country until the early 90's.

In 1992, the Supreme Court ruled religious ceremonies have no place at school events.

Some local schools kept the prayer going, by letting students speak before games; it was their choice to pray.

In a case involving a Sante Fe, Texas student, the Supreme Court ruled, earlier this year, using students to lead the prayer must also stop.

At Friday night's game in Sante Fe, a group calling itself "no pray, no play" was going to urge people to repeat the Lord's Prayer after the national anthem.

The group had about 200 people pray before Friday’s game.

Earlier this week, a South Carolina school disobeyed the ruling, and the ACLU says its considering legal action.

Since the early 90's, Sand Springs has a student give an inspirational speech.

Many fans prefer respecting the rights of others.

“There are going to be some believe the other way, and they have their rights. You'd hate to infringe on them,” says Pat Huey, Sand Springs.

Others prefer prayer.

The Supreme Court decision didn’t stop some Skiatook residents from praying before Friday night’s game started.

About 50 people bowed their heads to recite a prayer before the game between Skiatook and Pawhuska.

No school equipment was used, and people not holding official positions in the district organized the prayer.

Owasso has held student led prayers for several years.

Friday night that tradition ended.

But some fans did pray silently after the national anthem.