West Branch Schools halt pre-game prayers - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

West Branch Schools halt pre-game prayers

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BELOIT, Ohio -

The West Branch Local School District has halted the saying of prayers at school athletic events while the board of education investigates a complaint that was made about the practice.

Superintendent Tim Saxton sent out letters to parents who expressed concern over the decision to stop saying prayers before sports activities in the district as of January 18.

According to the letter, the district recently received a complaint from an outside nonprofit organization saying that prayer before athletic games is a constitutional violation.

The letter to the district also stated concerned citizens contacted the nonprofit with complaints.

The letter does not identify the organization.

Saxton says the district is in contact with legal counsel and is looking into the matter.

“We recognize that while some find this prayer before events offensive, the West Branch Community cherishes this practice and the rich history that goes along with it,” said Saxton in the letter. “We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through the situation.”

Until the situation is resolved, Saxton says there will be no prayers before athletic events.

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