Kansas school board brings back student-led prayer


A rural Kansas School Board courageously defied 50 years of U.S. Supreme Court rulings by allowing student-led prayer at all school activities, even broadcasting them on the school’s public address system.

What began as an unscheduled, impromptu suggestion at a Monday ISD No. 480 School Board meeting ended up as a motion that was immediately seconded, discussed and unanimously approved, according to the Leader and Times.

“I think that’s one of the greatest things we’ve ever done,” said Board Member Tammy Sutherland-Abbott, who seconded Board Member Nick Hatcher’s motion.

Hatcher had spontaneously introduced the idea.

“I would like to see us bring prayer back to the games,” he told his fellow board members. “I have struggled with that — not having prayer at our activities — because it’s ‘not the thing to do,’ but if the board thought it was important enough that they would support it, and defend it if the time came, I’d like to ask that we do that at our next meeting.”

The schools superintendent questioned why the board should wait until the next meeting.

“We do live in a democratic society, and I personally feel like our community would support that decision, regardless of the rest of the world,” Hatcher said.

The Leader and Times reported:

Several years ago, LHS discontinued prayer at events like football games. Administration voiced concern that, by making the P.A. system available for prayers led by students or community members, the district could be perceived as sanctioning or even promoting traditional Christian prayer in violation of federal law. Student-led prayers then moved to the football field itself, prior to the game. However, no microphone or speaker system allowed spectators to hear such prayers. Monday night’s vote will permit students to utilize the P.A. system for prayer before football games and all other special activities in the district.

The Warren Supreme Court declared school-sanctioned prayer unconstitutional in the 1962 case of Engel v. Vitale. In that case, the New York officials were challenged for encouraging public schools to recite prayers written by them.

The 2000 case of Santa Fe Independent School Dist. v. Doe, however, is more directly on point. In that case, the court ruled 6-3 that student-composed and -led prayer prior to football games is unconstitutional as a violation of the First Amendment’s establishment clause.

Kansas is a part of a Middle America region unflatteringly known as “flyover country,” where residents pay their taxes without squabble, send their sons and daughters off to fight our wars and whose word is unhesitatingly their bond.

Note that it wasn’t small-ttown bankers that had to be bailed out in the waning days of 2007. They wouldn’t dream of making an investment that could jeopardize the hard-earned life savings of their depositors and shareholders — not when they have to face those same people at the local supermarket, pharmacy or in chuech on Sunday.

More than anything, the people inhabiting flyover country are expected to do all they can for their country and countrymen and keep their mouths shut while the geniuses in Washington, New York and Los Angeles make the really important decisions.

It’s both encouraging and heartwarming to see the people in this area of Kansas rise up and revolt, Spartacus-like, as they tell Washington, D.C.: “We tried your way, thank you. We’ll go back to doing it our way.”

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531 thoughts on “Kansas school board brings back student-led prayer

  1. Smurfet says:

    People should be allowed to raise their children & teach them any religion they want. It is not the government’s place to tell you what they should believe.

  2. Get real says:

    When schools like this complain about not having enough money, ask them how they seem to have plenty to fight clearly illegal issues such as separation of church and state over and over. Keep those lawyers paid, and fire another teacher… oh wait, in order for religion to work you have to keep you subjects uneducated… I’m starting to see the pattern…

  3. Nathan Stohler says:

    “I think that’s one of the greatest things we’ve ever done,” said Board Member Tammy Sutherland-Abbott.

    Ok, so she admits that even the greatest thing the board has ever done had absolutely nothing to do with improving the education of the district’s students.

    1. plainsman844 says:

      No doubt the board members who tried to jam ID/Creationism into Dover, Pennsylvania science classes were pleased with themselves as well. At least until the school district lost a cool million in a losing court case.

  4. How far should we go to assure that proper values are instilled in our children? This effort is in defiance of the rulings of the Supreme Court. Are we willing to oppose the U. S. Constitution? With what force?

  5. Arden Hale says:

    Everyone should pray silently to themselves on school grounds just to tick the liberals off.

    1. plainsman844 says:

      Yeah, that will show ’em (cough).

      1. Arden Hale says:

        If it angers a liberal it will have been worth it. I’m praying for you right now.

  6. Christopher Vegan-Murphy says:

    Only Christian prayer? What would happen if a Wiccan student cast a spell? I bet he would be beaten horribly. Please, please keep your religion in your home or your church. Do not pester non-believers with your superstitions.

  7. Grandma Go says:

    Let’s see how long it takes an Atheist to file suit against the school.

  8. jennfire says:

    It is all in the way the schools interpret the law. My grandkids still have Baccalaureate services at their school, the night before graduation. They still have prayers, never did stop doing what they always did. no one complained. It is a farm town, and people all know each other, and they like it their way. They raise good strong wholesome kids, like their crops.

  9. Ben Lamptey says:

    At long last some human being have awoken from their slumber and don’t want to be counted among those the bible described in Psalm 27:1. God bless the wind from the south, consume any obstacle that step on your path to frustrate the bold steps. You have proven that you’ve gat the guts. Which state will be the next? I dare the other states to prove to we Africans that you do not only believe in the so called liberty you trumpet but you also practice it. America, God it waiting to hear from you. Chose you this day who you will serve, God or fear of mortal men who are but dust. We see them today and tomorrow are lost into oblivion. Kudos Kansas, we shall bear you up in prayer so that this laudable move shall be accepted by your kings men .

  10. Ben Lamptey says:

    Kudos! wind of the south, you have proven to the world that you don’t want to be counted among the Psalm 27:1 category. Which state will follow this laudable example.

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