Pasco coaches can't lead post-game prayers - WFLA News Channel 8

Pasco coaches can't lead post-game prayers

Posted: Updated:
Superintendent Kurt Browning Superintendent Kurt Browning
PASCO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Seeing players pray together after high school football games is just as common as seeing a quarterback throw a deep pass to a wide receiver.

But the superintendent of Pasco County schools, Kurt Browning, recently issued a memo to staff to make sure coaches and other school employees know they can't lead those post-game prayers.

"It doesn't prohibit a coach from being in the center of the football field with his players praying after a game it just that it has to be student-led and it can't be coach-led in this case," said Browning.

The issue came to light following a recent game in Pasco County, where coaches led the players in prayer.

The superintendent's actions have drawn criticism from some Pasco County parents, who are upset over the stand taken by the district's top school administrator.

"I think that should be left up to the employee, if he wishes to take part with the students, that is fine, or if he asked by the students to take part or to lead in prayer I think that is fine too," said parent Ben Maggio.

Other Pasco County parents say they understand why the superintendent is against the coach-led prayer.

"I can see the position he is in and respect it... but at the end of the day coming up with a common ground and a solution to where people who do want to have prayer are capable of doing that," said Ron Rueff, another parent.

Superintendent Browning says he is not anti-religion; in fact, he says he prays every day.

"The fact is I took an oath to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the of the United States," says Browning.  "And the state of Florida and sometimes those are in conflict with your personal beliefs, and so that is where I am stuck between a rock and a proverbial hard place, but I know the memo we issued was the right thing, and I think the district staff understands where the line is."

The superintendent says he understands why some people may not like the position he's taken, but he is only following the law.

Stay connected with the news of the day. Download the WFLA news app today. It’s FREE http://8.wfla.com/1etbepy

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Mortgage nightmare for Plant City couple

    Mortgage nightmare for Plant City couple

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:57 AM EDT2014-04-16 11:57:42 GMT
    Karl and Vicktoria Hanson thought their foreclosure nightmare was long over. It may be just beginning.
    Karl and Vicktoria Hanson thought their foreclosure nightmare was long over. It may be just beginning.
  • Bradenton massage therapist banned from contact with women by state

    Bradenton massage therapist banned from contact with women by state

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-04-15 21:03:21 GMT
    The Florida Department of Health says it served licensed massage therapist Kevin Joseph Holmes, 60, with an emergency order Tuesday morning that bans him from working with female clients.The Florida Department of Health says it served licensed massage therapist Kevin Joseph Holmes, 60, with an emergency order Tuesday morning that bans him from working with female clients.
    The Florida Department of Health says it served licensed massage therapist Kevin Joseph Holmes, 60, with an emergency order Tuesday morning that bans him from working with female clients.The order says Holmes "unrestricted practice as a massage therapist with female clients constitutes an immediate serious danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the public
    The Florida Department of Health says it served licensed massage therapist Kevin Joseph Holmes, 60, with an emergency order Tuesday morning that bans him from working with female clients.The order says Holmes "unrestricted practice as a massage therapist with female clients constitutes an immediate serious danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the public
  • State takes emergency action against Bradenton massage therapist after 8 On Your Side investigation

    State takes emergency action against Bradenton massage therapist after 8 On Your Side investigation

    Monday, April 14 2014 7:09 PM EDT2014-04-14 23:09:06 GMT
    Kevin Holmes, massage therapistKevin Holmes, massage therapist
    According topolice records Kevin Holmes, age 60, toldinvestigators the client he gave a therapeutic massage to last month"was an attractive girl, plain and simple."It turns out she was also an off-duty detective, and Holmes said what he did to her was "absolutely inapproriate."
    According topolice records Kevin Holmes, age 60, toldinvestigators the client he gave a therapeutic massage to last month"was an attractive girl, plain and simple."It turns out she was also an off-duty detective, and Holmes said what he did to her was "absolutely inapproriate."
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.