Santa Fe High School Student Gives Pre-Game Prayer on Public Address System Hot

Santa Fe High School Student Gives Pre-Game Prayer on Public Address System

Pre-Game Prayer at Santa Fe High School

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Before the beginning of the Friday night football game at the Santa Fe High School, Marian Lynn Ward offers a pre-game prayer on the school's public address system. The practice of giving official status to these prayers, even though they are delivered by students, has been challenged in court.

Santa Fe Independent School District Superintendent Richard Ownby had warned students and violating the court injunction against prayers would lead to disciplinary action.

However, U.S. District Judge Sim Lake in Houston issued a restraining order against the school preventing them from disciplining Marian Lynn Ward or anyone else for leading the crowd in prayers. According to Sim Lake, not giving official status to Christian prayers during official school events would "clearly prefer atheism over any religious faith."

Marian Lynn Ward, the daughter of a Baptist minister, says:

"Since a very good judge that was using a lot of wisdom this afternoon ruled that I have freedom of speech tonight, I'm going to take it. ...

God thank you for this evening. Thank you for all the prayers that were lifted up this week for me. I pray that you'll bless each and every person here tonight."

No other student is given the same freedom of speech to offer a different form of Christian prayer, to offer a non-Christian prayer, or to say anything else at all. It is precisely because Christian prayers are being so blatantly privileged with official status like this that the practice of pre-game prayers will be ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.


Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe

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