BHS Superintendent: High school can't sanction team prayer - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Superintendent: Bloomfield Hills High can't sanction team prayer before football games

Posted: Updated:
Bloomfield Hills Schools Superintendent Rob Glass Bloomfield Hills Schools Superintendent Rob Glass
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. (WJBK) -

The superintendent said he is not banning football players from praying individually or together as a group, but Bloomfield Hills High School cannot create an environment that encourages or endorses it.

"Student-led prayer is a very important part of this program and always has been," said former Lahser football player Tyler Roth.

"I'm not a very religious person at all, but I didn't view it as a religious thing. I just more viewed it as a way to be with the team and just kind of bonding," said varsity quarterback Spencer McCourt.

However, the ACLU complained to the Bloomfield Hills school district last February. The superintendent launched an investigation and determined the problem wasn't the prayer, but the fact that the school appeared to sanction it.

Click the video player to hear student's reactions after a meeting Wednesday with the district's superintendent.

"The coach was there presiding over an official school gathering, and that did violate our policy. We reminded the coach that if students wanted to pray, they could certainly do that on their own, but he would need to dismiss the school meeting," said Superintendent Rob Glass.

The move sparked a firestorm and got national attention.

"Can a student or a group of students meet on the football field and spontaneously decide to pray without staff engaging, sanctioning or doing that as part of the official school business? Sure they can," Glass said.

"They never did those prayers during the team meeting. The team meeting had already concluded and all that happened was that coach ... was present," said Lahser graduate Michael Banerian.

"We've had ... kids of other religions, Jewish kids and that, who have just walked off and just went to the locker room and no consequences at all," McCourt said. "We've also had kids from other religions who just sat and just listened and just were with the team."

Despite the controversy, the football players we spoke with said this tradition will continue, even if their coaches can't be involved.

"It was a team thing to begin with, so I don't see any reason why it should be a big deal," McCourt said.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Community comes together to support slain Armada teen's family

    Community comes together to support slain Armada teen's family

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:55 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:55:10 GMT
    Nearly a week after 14-year-old April Millsap was found murdered in the small town of Armada, friends, family and even those who didn't know the young girl gather for music in the park - this time hoping for justice.They were there to help raise money to ease the burden on April's heartbroken mother."We're as well as can be expected," said aunt Sarah Lichtenfelt. "They are just grateful for all the prayers and support, that's all we ask is to keep praying for strength."In the middle of it all...
    Nearly a week after 14-year-old April Millsap was found murdered in the small town of Armada, friends, family and even those who didn't know the young girl gather for music in the park - this time hoping for justice.They were there to help raise money to ease the burden on April's heartbroken mother."We're as well as can be expected," said aunt Sarah Lichtenfelt. "They are just grateful for all the prayers and support, that's all we ask is to keep praying for strength."In the middle of it all...
  • Family asks for justice after mother of three found dead next to dumpster

    Family asks for justice after mother of three found dead next to dumpster

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:33 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:33:46 GMT
    When 32-year-old Katherine Gibson was a little girl, her loved ones thought, the "life" ahead of her would be long. But it wasn't."Me and my girlfriend dropped her off and she had just told us, she loved us," said Marvin Gibson, her cousin.That would be the last "I love you" that he would hear. because after Gibson's cousin dropped her off at Harper and Conner, near Bronco's Market. The day after, she was found dead. Gibson's lifeless body, discovered by a dumpster, beside the building."Layin...
    When 32-year-old Katherine Gibson was a little girl, her loved ones thought, the "life" ahead of her would be long. But it wasn't."Me and my girlfriend dropped her off and she had just told us, she loved us," said Marvin Gibson, her cousin.That would be the last "I love you" that he would hear. because after Gibson's cousin dropped her off at Harper and Conner, near Bronco's Market. The day after, she was found dead. Gibson's lifeless body, discovered by a dumpster, beside the building."Layin...
  • Detroit councilwoman dodges questions about Facebook photo

    Detroit councilwoman dodges questions about Facebook photo

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:27 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:27:05 GMT
    Councilwoman Mary Sheffield posted a photo with controversial figure Rayford Jackson, previously involved in the Monica Conyers scandal. Fox 2's M.L. Elrick wants to know why.
    Councilwoman Mary Sheffield posted a photo with controversial figure Rayford Jackson, previously involved in the Monica Conyers scandal. Fox 2's M.L. Elrick wants to know why.
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices