Published On: Thu, Oct 3rd, 2013

Kurt Browning, Florida school superintendent, in firestorm over student led prayer memo

Praying Hands (Betende Hände) by Albrecht Dürer

Praying Hands (Betende Hände) by Albrecht Dürer

Kurt Browning probably didn’t expect the backlash and publicity surrounding a memo reminding Pasco County high school football coaches not to lead prayer with their players.

The devout Christian has had to go on the defensive explaining that prayer is needed in his opinion, but he’s responsible for upholding the policy that teachers or coaches cannot lead that prayer.

“I have never said, nor will I, that prayer has to stop at football games or any other school activity. It must be student led,” Browning wrote on Facebook after some of the attacks began.

“If there has ever been a time that we need to pray for our kids, it’s now! I do everyday!”

In a Tampabay.com article the details surrounding the memo are outlined as well as the support from his district and state senator.

“Your decision is the sign of a strong leader who follows the law and his heart even when it is not popular,” wrote teachers union president Lynne Webb, an ardent Democrat and sometimes foe.

Added House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, who favors more permissive guidelines on public school prayer, “I know Kurt Browning and he is a man of faith and a great friend. This is not his fault.”

Browning summarized his statement with his beliefs.

“Just because we don’t like it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be enforced,” Browning said in the article. “I say that in response to the folks who posted on Facebook. They want prayer in public school. … You can. … It just can’t be staff led.”


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