Jefferson County Schools may have banned prayer over the PA system at high school football games, though doubts exist.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), an atheist advocacy group based in Madison, Wisconsin, said they received a letter from Birmingham attorney Samantha K. Smith of Bishop, Colvin, Johnson and Kent, LLC, which said Superintendent Walter B. Gonsoulin Jr. met with Jefferson County School principals and will no longer permit prayer at any “school-sponsored events".
Smith’s letter, dated March 21, was in response to a complaint the FFRF sent to the school district on September 19, 2021. FFRF said the pre-game prayers were “inappropriate and unconstitutional".
Gonsoulin released a response that said the complaint was “resolved at the school level and not due to any newly adopted Board policy".
However, Micheal Lee, principal of Clay-Chalkville High School, said Gonsoulin has not met with him about this issue nor has he heard about any other meetings.
Gonsoulin continued in his statement saying, “The Jefferson County Board of Education remains firmly committed to respecting and protecting [students’ religious rights and liberties] in every way permitted by the Constitution and laws of the United States.”
1819 News reached out to Gerolyn Woodruff, assistant principal at Pinson Valley High School, and Michael Turner, principal at Pinson Valley High School, and received no reply.