- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Just days after the Anderson County School District issued an edict against coaches and staff leading students in prayer, attorneys for the city council and fiscal court vowed to pray on before holding public meetings.
Threatened litigation by the ACLU over Bible distribution in schools has sparked one of the most passionate and controversial topics to hit Anderson County in recent memory, and has already resulted in drastic changes to school policy that were on full display last Friday night.
Following a tear-filled explanation to his high school football team after learning he could no longer organize team prayers, coach Mark Peach stood aside as his players lead their own post-game prayer and were joined by hundreds of worshipful but clearly agitated parents, students and fans following Friday’s game in Lawrenceburg.
That display passed muster with the ACLU, a spokesperson said, but statements by the city and county attorneys that they will advise their respective public bodies to continue praying before public meeting did not.
In an interview Monday, the spokesperson says that doing so violates the Establishment Clause in the Constitution.
“I don’t believe that for a second,” city attorney Robert Myles said, referring to legal opinion that prayer at public meetings violates the Establishment Clause. “I believe the ACLU is wrong in this instance and they are flat wrong in the interpretation they are giving. While I have genuine respect for the ACLU and what they do, I strongly disagree in this instance.”
Inside, you’ll find full coverage of what occurred following Friday’s football game, a in-depth look at how Superintendent Sheila Mitchell came to her decision for the school system, and what city and county officials have to say about opening their meetings in prayer.