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After court ruling, activists push prayer into schools

A month has passed since the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Washington state football coach who knelt at midfield to pray and was joined by student-athletes. A Michigan superintendent is pondering whether coaches should lead students in pre-game prayer. A school board member in Florida wants her district to teach students about prayer and offer religious studies. In at least three states, Illinois, Alabama and Oregon, school personnel have said they are reviewing their policies on employee prayer. In other places, educators say not much will change — largely because coach-led prayer at games and invocations before school board meetings were already happening. Those who practice non-Christian religions warn that, in most of America, ‘prayer’ will by default mean Christian prayer, leaving their children alienated and isolated.

In light of the Supreme Court ruling, Michigan superintendent says he's open to idea of coach-led prayer. Hawaii, Ohio, Kentucky, Florida and Hawaii are also considering ways to introduce prayer into schools and competitions. Advocacy is afoot in other places, including Ohio, Florida, Ohio and Hawaii, where prayer is allowed in schools. The Hawaii Family Forum wants to allow people of faith to bring their faith into their positions without any fear, group leader says. In Ohio, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted urged school districts to review and update their policies on school prayer policies after the ruling was published in April. In Kentucky, a Republican lawmaker and a Lexington rabbi teamed up on a bill requiring public-school students to silently pray.

In other places, prayer has long been part of sports events and school board meetings. In Hazel Park Schools, Mich., Amy Kruppe took over as superintendent seven years ago. She says the ruling "just gives some individuals that might have already been doing it anyway the freedom to say, ‘It’s okay’ Others, though, are appalled by what they see as an erosion of the boundary between church and state. In Salt Lake City, a former Mormon, now an atheist, grew angry when his son's high school football coach called on players to pray before every game and at team dinners. In Clovis Unified School District in California, Steven Fogg said coaches in his district of 43,000 encourage prayer in a wink-wink

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has filed a complaint against Oklahoma school district. The school district has declined to comment on the matter. The foundation submitted a complaint to the Mid-Del School District in May of 2019. Kristi Robertson is concerned that more families will undergo what hers did. Her daughter, Aurora, said she believes in God and that she began believing in God when her third-grade teacher talked about God in class. The family has since switched school districts, and Robertson is unsure what happened to the teacher.