published Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Soddy-Daisy High to stop prayers over loudspeaker


by Kelli Gauthier

Soddy-Daisy High School Principal John Maynard said he has been ordered to stop allowing prayers to be said over a loudspeaker at football games and graduation ceremonies.

Superintendent Jim Scales e-mailed the principal Tuesday, telling him to stop, Maynard said.

“I will follow his orders,” he said.

Scales received a letter earlier this week on behalf of students from Soddy-Daisy from the Freedom from Religion Foundation, complaining about the public prayers.

about Kelli Gauthier...

Kelli Gauthier covers K-12 education in Hamilton County for the Times Free Press. She started at the paper as an intern in 2006, crisscrossing the region writing feature stories from Pikeville, Tenn., to Lafayette, Ga. She also covered crime and courts before taking over the education beat in 2007. A native of Frederick, Md., Kelli came south to attend Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in print journalism. Before newspapers, ...

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cooleyd3 said...

Jim Scales and John Maynard have no backbone and thank God my son doesn't go to school in Chattanooga. These kids are the way they are because God is not in their lives, I will pray for each and everyone.

October 20, 2010 at 1:09 p.m.
tngal88 said...

Tolerence–noun 1. a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one's own; freedom from bigotry

People this is not what Jim Scales teaches the students of Hamilton County. Last I looked religion falls under this heading. All prayer led at Soddy-Daisy is done by a student. Not a teacher, pastor, principle or any specific denomionation. It is STUDENT led. These groups screaming lawsuits are "hate groups". How would Mr. Scales feel if we told him he could not be our Superintendent because he were colored. No matter how offensive that sounds, same applies here.

Discrimination- is a sociological term referring to the treatment taken toward or against an individual of a certain group in consideration based solely on class or category. Discrimination is the actual behavior towards another group. It involves excluding or restricting members of one group from opportunities that are available to other groups. So what does that make Jim Scales?

October 20, 2010 at 1:53 p.m.
concernedmomof2 said...

Chose your words carefully. John Maynard has no choice as he was 'ordered' by his superintendent to cease, so to say he has no backbone is nonsense. Jim Scales on the other hand just wants an easy way out. He received a letter and did not check into the situation at all without barking orders. Prayers are led by students, not in uniform, at the games. If you don't want to hear the prayers don't listen, don't participate or whatever you need to do, but keep your mouth shut. There are far more problems in schools than prayer, and hopefully a wayward students could be led back by another praying student. Teen suicide, drugs and gangs should all be the concern, not those that pray for them.

October 20, 2010 at 2:23 p.m.
HiDef said...

cooleyd3- I'd say the two are very smart in that they saved the school district a lot of money by not trying to fight a battle they most certainly would've lost. Read the other article and the .pdf with it. There is a lot of case law to support the FFRF's case.

October 20, 2010 at 4:30 p.m.
librul said...

Jim Scales is probably both intelligent enough to know that tolerance is spelled with an "a" and that it is settled law that using the public address system to broadcast prayers at public school athletic events amounts to government endorsement of a particular belief over all others which is a violation of the establishment clause. His action and that of the students who have brought this violation to light are to be complimented and supported by all who cherish American values.

If you can't pray at home or in your car or at church before going to the game, you missed your constitutionally protected chance. When you're at a public event, you can pray all you want, you just can't expect the school to use their public address system to trample on everybody else's beliefs and broadcast them for you.

October 20, 2010 at 4:30 p.m.
tngal88 said...

Thank you so much librul for correcting my spelling. I am in a hurry today trying to work and help pay for that public address system you keep harping about. After all, nothing we use at Soddy-Daisy does Hamilton County School(government) pay for anyways. All the way from uniforms down to the sod on that field. When bleachers go out,scoreboard goes bonkers, and even that PA system that for some reason our government seems to think they own, the Sports Boosters spend many hours selling everything but tail to pay for it. Ah yes, even the money you pay at that gate does not even go into our program for repairs. It goes downtown somewhere and is divided among all coaches who our School Board(government) years ago messed up. And not all those coaches get paid. And the way I look at it, if someone feels threatened about a 15 sec prayer that is their own problem. I have never seen anyone slapped and took out kicking & screaming because they did not bow their head & pray. Nor have I ever seen anyone at these so called student led prayers been "born again" or convert people to to make someone leave their religion behind. Like I have stated before, these groups that stand on no prayer of any sorts in public places are "hate groups". In America we should be moving forward, and learning TOLERANCE. Not taking away rights that have been given and practiced for more years than you or I have been alive. We must be very careful. Today it is prayer in schools, tomorrow something else will be removed. It's bigger than religion. But of course we are always thinking of what fits our own needs and wants. Like I said, the picture is so much bigger. Wake up!

October 20, 2010 at 6:13 p.m.
realityrox said...

This is so AWESOME! There are freethinking kids in Soddy Daisy.

Thank you good education.

October 20, 2010 at 6:57 p.m.
Abe said...

The part that confuses me about the insistence on school-sponsored prayer is this:

Whatever happened to being polite.

Those of you who insist on school-sponsored prayer know that you're offending the Jew, the Muslim, the nonbeliever, even Christians of another stripe.

You never insist on offering their prayers; you insist on offering your prayers.

But it's not polite to offend people, to be told that you're offending them, and then to keep on doing it.

Forget the law, which seems to be against you. What about common courtesy?

October 21, 2010 at 1:02 a.m.
enufisenuf said...

Well said ABE, too bad the Christians are too blind to see how hipocritical they are. Rather like the Democrat who is all for the others opinion till they realize there is one. They have churches to practice their prayer. Not in the schools. Kids are too dumbed out by teachers who can't teach , administrators and teachers who are more focused on disciplining a kid than teaching them,(it's about getting the federal funding, not producing a kid who is able to think) they don't need stupid powerless prayer to confuse them anymore.

October 21, 2010 at 6:22 a.m.
chattyjill said...

I challenge Soddy Daisy to allow an adhan (Muslim call to prayer) and iqama (set up) to be announced over the loud speaker, then we can talk about religious tolerance.

Just because a couple of football players and FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athlete) are aggressive enough to organize group religious activities and prayer, doesn't mean that they represent all the beliefs of every student. Not all religious people feel the need to tout their beliefs from behind a bullhorn. Spirituality is intimate and personal.

And besides, even if there was a god and Jesus Christ was the son of god, he/they don't give a hoot about football! Are you kidding me?!

October 21, 2010 at 9:47 a.m.
librul said...

The FCA, Gideons and all similar proselytizers should be banned from public schools.

Players who engage in ridiculous displays (kneeling, crossing, pointing at the sky) just because they caught a football or outran the other team should earn a penalty. Notice they don't do it after being thrown for a loss or having the ball sail just past their fingertips. What, are we to assume their god is punishing them when they fail?

It's all so stupid.

October 21, 2010 at 4:36 p.m.
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