Archive for Wednesday, July 5, 2000

Supreme Court ruling not an issue at THS

July 5, 2000

The recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that student-led prayer read over the loud speaker before high school football games is unconstitutional should have no effect on Tonganoxie High School football games.

In the case, Santa Fe Independent School District vs. Doe, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that at the minimum the constitution guarantees that government cannot coerce anyone to support or participate in religion or its exercise.

Because Tonganoxie has no history of student-led prayers over the loud speaker and because the ruling does not exclude prayers in the locker room, Tonganoxie football coach Mark Elston said he has no problem with the ruling.

"Well, I know that in small communities, there are a lot of kids on the team that are involved heartily in church," Elston said. "Where I've coached before, the kids would take it upon themselves to lead the prayer."

Elston, whose last coaching position was at Hickman Mills High School in Kansas City, Kan., will begin his first season as the Chieftains' coach this year.

He stressed that all prayers were among teammates in the locker room and not spoken in the stands or over the loud speaker.

Elston, who said that he's always said the Lord's Prayer before games, would continue to do so because of the positives he says it brings to the game.

"It adds to team unity," Elston said. "It's about getting everybody's mind focused on the same thing."

High School Football Camp

The Tonganoxie High School football team will hold its annual summer camp beginning July 24.

The camp is for freshman through seniors, and also eighth-graders.

The camp will be from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. July 24 to July 28 at the practice field just east of the high school.

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