Monday, September 29, 2014

Arizona Football Coach Suspended for Praying with Team

An Arizona high school football coach was suspended for two games last week for praying with his team.

The problem, according to the school, arose after their coach, Tom Brittain, prayed with his team. This is despite the fact that the school, Tempe Preparatory Academy, is state-funded.

Freedom of religion only goes so far, according to the school's administration. "He is a man who likes to pray and I don't object to that," said headmaster of the school Dr. David Baum. That said, "he can't do that with our students," Dr. Baum stated bluntly.

After a win the previous week, Mr. Brittain asked students to join him in a prayer celebrating the hard-fought victory. That is a punishable offense, according to Dr. Baum, who believes that by suspending Mr. Brittain, that he has preserved students' freedom of religion.

"He directed students to lead a prayer and he joined the students in that prayer and did so in view of everyone," Dr. Baum explained. "I think I preserved the religious freedom of our students, who have to have the liberty to be able to practice or not practice their religion on our campus, without interference by adults."
Students are not happy with the decision, referencing the fact that Ray Rice, a wide receiver for the Ravens, initially received a two-week suspension for punching his fiance in the face and knocking her out. Mr. Brittain received the same punishment for saying a prayer.

Some parents supported the decision to suspend Mr. Brittain, saying that he has connived to have students pray for years.

You can find the Tempe Preparatory Acadamy's website here.

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