Pre-game prayer changes cause high school controversy

Opelika High School football field

OPELIKA, Ala. (WSFA) – Opelika High School is no longer allowing prayer over the loudspeaker prior to home football games, instead there will be a moment of silence.

This comes after the Opelika City Schools Board of Education received a letter from the Freedom from Religion Foundation saying that an Opelika student felt alienated after hearing a prayer over the loudspeaker prior to a game.

Some local residents think the change is fair.

“There may be some kids there or parents there who are not part of the Christian belief. I just imagine how they feel,” said Opelika resident Sammie Gay.

Others disagree saying the prayer didn’t push a certain set of beliefs.

“It was never anything overtly Christian. It was always, ‘Hey God please keep our players safe from injury, help the fans and the players to have good sportsmanship, everyone have a good night.’ It was nothing offensive,” said Trinity United Methodist Church Youth Pastor Steve Bass.

The letter continued, stating that prayer over the loudspeaker before games is illegal.

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