Ky. High School Stops Football Pre-Game Prayer

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A pre-game prayer was noticeably missing at Friday night's opening football game at Bell County High School in Pineville, Ky.

Following a complaint from the Freedom from Religion Foundation this month, the southeastern Kentucky school district has stopped the practice of beginning its games with a public prayer.

The group says its complaint was on behalf of a local family who it refused to identify.

School Superintendent George Thompson said the practice of having a local pastor offer prayer over loudspeakers was halted because previous court rulings indicated the county would lose a court battle, according to Hazard television station WYMT.

"Folks were pretty upset about it," he said. "Facebook has gone wild."

Sandra Stepp was one of many who were disappointed with the decision. Stepp's husband, Rev. Ray Stepp of Molus Pentecostal Church in neighboring Harlan County, had led the prayer for almost 20 years.

"It's sad that one person or two can stop this when there are so many of us wanting this," she told the Lexington Herald-Leader.

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