Arab student requests to lead public prayer before final football game

The student is asking the Arab Board of Education for permission.

Posted: Oct 25, 2018 11:02 PM
Updated: Oct 26, 2018 6:58 PM

An Arab High School senior wants to pray over the public address system for the last home football game next week, but the district has not allowed school sanctioned prayers before games since 2011.

The senior made his request to the board of education during their meeting Thursday night and the board did not say no, but they also didn't say yes.

"We're in the bible belt. Christianity is predominate," said Arab senior, Ian Davis. That is just one of the reasons he said he wants to pray before next week's football game. His main goal is to spread the word of God. "I know plenty of schools that do it, and they don't get punished for it," said Davis.

The Arab Board of Education said they will make a decision on his request early next week. They did not want to comment on the issue until then, but the attorney representing the board cited a United States Supreme Court precedent to explain why the district does not allow school sanctioned prayer.

It states, using a school owned public address system for prayer violates the constitution, because the school would be promoting a specific religion.

If the board denies Davis' request, he said he will sue and it will be backed by Arab prayer activist, Stacy George. "It'll be a group of us. We'll file that, and we'll go all the way through," said George.

He said they would take it to the Supreme Court if they need to.

Davis said his fellow students have wanted public prayer before games for his entire four years in high school, "They've been too scared to, even, because of potential action taken upon by the school board," said Davis.

WAAY 31 is going to keep close tabs on this story and as soon as we find out whether or not he will be allowed to pray at the football game, we will update.

On top of the lawsuit, Davis said he will attempt to get into the press box and still pray over the public address system if they deny his request.

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