Miss. School District Stops Public Prayers

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A school district in DeSoto County, Miss., has stopped prayers over the public address system before its high school football games and other school functions in response to complaints from the Freedom from Religion Foundation.

The atheist organization, which has successfully challenged public prayers in other school districts around the country, complained that U.S. Supreme Court decisions prohibiting school-sponsored prayer were being violated.

The school board replied that they would enforce an existing policy prohibiting use of the public address system to broadcast prayers before football games, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported.

The first home games of the season were last Friday and did not include pregame prayers over the speakers.

"We have had a whole slew of violations in the South, and we have been able to remedy them without going to court," FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor said.

"We had gotten an email from a mother with kids in the schools that said everything that we had complained about she had encountered, and implied she was willing to go to court," Gaylor added.

Jo Ann Jones, a Hernando resident, has four grandchildren in DeSoto County public schools.

"Why do a few people get to tell the American people that they can't pray?" she told the newspaper.

"We need God in this country. That's what's wrong with it today -- we haven't got God in this country anymore," Jones said.

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