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Extended Prayer Session At Georgia High School?

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Extended prayer at North Georgia school ignites debate

Posted: May 02, 2013 4:59 PM EDTUpdated: May 03, 2013 12:56 AM EDT

Controversy is brewing in a northern Georgia community after about 50 students prayed together Wednesday morning when school officials said they should have been in class.

The spontaneous prayer at Lumpkin County High School has become the talk of the town. Lumpkin County Schools Superintendent Dewey Moye said that a student started the prayer in a coach's office at 7:30 a.m. and it lasted more than two hours. 

"It was a student-led initiative. The student showed up at the coach's office and the coach did pray with them and it went into the school day, over into the first period of the day," Moye said. 

Moye says the student who initiated the prayer is part of the school's Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter. The superintendent said that before the prayer ended, 50 students had joined in. Moye said that the students were within their rights. 

"I believe it's a Constitutional right to pray, yes I do. I believe they can do so at their desk, as long as they do not disrupt the school day," Moye said. 

Moye says he realizes what happened Wednesday cannot happen again. He admits some parents called to complain about the prayer, but he says that going forward, procedures and policies will be followed.

While he said that he will not discipline the coach and students, Moye says from now on, there will be no prayers during school hours.

One student was suspended for three days for being overly aggressive to an administrator who would not let another person join the prayer group.

by on May. 6, 2013 at 7:02 AM
Replies (11-20):
by on May. 6, 2013 at 9:49 AM
5 moms liked this
This is why people laugh at you guys

Quoting Koltie6:

We used to pray in schools and i dont remember the shootings back then. Hmmm maybe we should get back to some of that.

by Pepperlynn on May. 6, 2013 at 9:55 AM
2 moms liked this

Quoting Koltie6:

We used to pray in schools and i dont remember the shootings back then. Hmmm maybe we should get back to some of that.


(U.S. Population: 203M-206M)

The two most notable U.S. school shootings in the early 1970s were the Jackson State killings in May 1970, where police opened fire on the campus of Jackson State University and the Kent State shootings also in May 1970 where the National Guard opened fire on the campus of Kent State University.[citation needed] At the Jackson State shooting, Phillip Gibbs, a student, and James Green, a local teen, were killed by police at the civil rights protest, and twelve others were injured.

The mid to late 1970s is considered the second most violent period in U.S. school history with a series of school shootings,

  • February 2, 1971: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Teacher Samson L. Freedman, 56, was shot to death as he left Morris E. Leeds School, by Kevin Simmons, 14. Freedman had suspended Simmons earlier in the day for cursing in the hallway.[131]
  • November 8, 1971: Grove, Oklahoma, School custodian, Jim "James" Underwood brought a .22-caliber revolver to school hidden in a brown paper bag. School principal, T.J. Melton, 49, was shot in the left shoulder, left ear and in the top of his head, according to published reports. He died around 9 a.m. and Underwood was charged the next day with first-degree murder.[132]
  • November 11, 1971: Spokane, Washington, Former MIT student Larry J. Harmon, 21, entered St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Church on the Gonzaga University campus armed with a .22 caliber rifle. Harmon killed the caretaker, 68-year-old Hilary Kunz, and upon merging from the church, wounded four more people before police officers shot and killed him. Harmon was described by his father as a religious fanatic who believed that he had seen the devil and that Christ was an imposter.[133]
  • January 5, 1972: Washington, DC, Fifth-grade teacher Margaret Brooks, 57, was shot to death in front of her students by her estranged husband James A. Brooks.[134]
  • October 1, 1973: Elmwood Park, Illinois, Elmwood Park Community High School student Cynthia Schulze was shot and killed in the hallway between classes by student William Rossi, with whom she was probably not acquainted. Rossi then ran out of the school and shot himself to death in an alley nearby. [135]
  • January 17, 1974: Chicago, Illinois, Elementary school principal Rudolph Jezek, Jr., 52, was shot to death in his office by Steven Guy, 14, a former student said to be angry at being transferred from the school to a social adjustment center.[136]
  • December 30, 1974: Olean, New York, Regents scholar Anthony Barbaro, 17, armed with a rifle and shotgun, kills three adults and wounds 11 others at his high school, which was closed for the Christmas holiday. Barbaro was reportedly a loner who kept a diary describing several "battle plans" for his attack on the school.[137][138]
  • February 18, 1975Marist CollegePoughkeepsie, New York, Marist College student Shelley Lynn Sperling was shot and killed by a scorned suitor in the Marist College cafeteria.[139]
  • September 11, 1975Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S. Grant High School student Randy Truitt was shot and killed by James Briggs at the school, leaving several others injured.[140]
  • February 12, 1976Detroit, Michigan, Intruders shot five Murray-Wright High School students after an apparent dispute over one of the intruders girlfriends.[141]
  • June 12, 1976: California State University, Fullerton massacre, Custodian Edward Charles Allaway, 37, opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle in the library on the California State University, Fullerton campus killing 7, and wounding 2.[citation needed]
  • November 10, 1976: Detroit, Michigan, Second grade teacher Bettye McCaster, 45, was shot to death in front of her 29 students at Burt Elementary School, by her estranged husband, Al Lewis.[142]
  • April 7, 1977: Whitharral, Texas, High School principal M.O. Tripp was shot to death on the front steps of the school by Ricardo Lopez, 17.[143]
  • February 9, 1978: St. Albans, West Virginia, A 15-year-old student was shot and killed by another student at Hayes Junior High School.[citation needed]
  • February 22, 1978: Lansing, Michigan, After being taunted for his beliefs, a 15-year-old self-proclaimed Nazi, killed one student and wounded a second with a Luger pistol.[138]
  • May 18, 1978: Austin, Texas, John Daniel Christian, 13, son of Lyndon B. Johnson's former press secretary George Christian, shot to death his English teacher, Wilbur Grayson, 29, with his father's .22 caliber rifle in front of approximately 30 classmates. John Christian was never prosecuted and is now a practicing attorney in Austin, Texas.[144]
  • January 29, 1979: San Diego, CaliforniaBrenda Ann Spencer opens fire on Grover Cleveland Elementary School from the window of her home across the street, killing 2 adults and wounding 9 others, 8 of whom were children[145].

    by Pepperlynn on May. 6, 2013 at 9:55 AM
    1 mom liked this


    (U.S. Population: 226M-248M)

    (Total number of schools: 113K) [67]

    • March 26, 1980: Big Rapids, Michigan, Robert Brauer, Business Professor, was shot by student Thomas Kakonis, 20, at Ferris State College. Robert Brauer had failed Kakonis on an examination. Kakonis was the son of an associate dean at the college.[146]
    • March 19, 1982: Las Vegas, Nevada, 17-year-old Valley High School student Patrick Lizotte shot and killed his teacher Clarence Pigott and wounded two students.[147]
    • April 7, 1982: Littleton, Colorado, Deer Creek Jr. High School student Jason Rocha, 14, shot and killed Scott Darwin Michael, 13.[148]
    • January 20, 1983: St. Louis County, Missouri, Eighth grade Parkway South Middle School student David F. Lawler entered a study hall classroom and opened fire, killing Randall Koger, 15, and injuring Greg Saffo, 15. Lawler then committed suicide.
    • May 17, 1984: Altoona, Iowa, While students in a French class at Southeast Polk High School were taking a test in the hallway, a 17-year-old male student shot and killed a 16-year-old female student before killing himself.[149][150]
    • January 22, 1985: Goddard, Kansas, James Alan Kearbey, 14, armed with a M1-A semiautomatic rifle and a .357-caliber handgun, killed principal Joseph McGee and wounded two teachers and a student at Goddard Junior High School.[151]
    • September 4, 1985: Richmond, Virginia, A 12-year-old East End Middle School boy shot a girl with his mother's gun.[152][153]
    • October 18, 1985: Detroit, Michigan, During halftime of the homecoming football game between Northwestern High School and Murray-Wright High School, a boy who was in a fight earlier that day pulled out a shotgun and opened fire, injuring six students.[154][155]
    • November 26, 1985: Spanaway, Washington, A 14-year-old girl shot two boys fatally, then killed herself with a .22-caliber rifle at Spanaway Junior High School.[156][157][158]
    • December 10, 1985: Portland, Connecticut At Portland Junior High School, a 13-year-old male student pulled out a 9mm firearm and opened fire, injuring the school secretary and killing a custodian.[159]

    According to the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, in the United States, from September 1986 to September 1990:[160]

    • At least 71 people (65 students and 6 school employees) had been killed with guns at school.
    • 201 were severely wounded by gun fire.
    • 242 individuals were held hostage at gunpoint.

    According to a 1987 survey conducted by the American School Health Association,[161] " 3% of the boys reported having carried a handgun to school at least once during the school year; 1% reported carrying a handgun on a daily basis."

    The late 1980s began to see a major increase in school shootings, including:

    • February 24, 1986: Slidell, Louisiana, 13-year-old gifted Boyet Junior High School student Matt Cooper shot himself in class with a .45-caliber pistol.[162][163]
    • May 16, 1986: Cokeville Elementary School hostage crisis, In a ransom scheme, David and Doris Young took 150 students and teachers hostage. Their demand for $300 million dollars came to an abrupt end when Doris accidentally set off a bomb, killing herself and injuring 78 students and teachers. David wounded John Miller, a teacher who was trying to flee, then killed himself.
    • December 5, 1986: Lewistown, Montana, A 14-year-old Fergus High School student shot and killed a substitute teacher and wounded a vice principal and two classmates.
    • March 2, 1987: De Kalb, Missouri Honors student Nathan Ferris, 12, killed a classmate and then himself.[164]
    • April 16, 1987: Detroit, Michigan, A ninth-grade Murray Wright High School student killed Chester Jackson, 17, and wounded Damon Matthews, 17, and Tomeka Turner, 18.[165][166]
    • December 16, 1987: Katy, TexasMayde Creek High School student Ramesh D. Tumalad, 15, shot himself to death in his Algebra class as his classmates looked on.[167]
    • May 20, 1988: Winnetka, IllinoisLaurie Dann, 30, shot and killed one elementary school student and wounded five others, then took a family hostage and shot a man before killing herself.
    • September 26, 1988: Greenwood, South Carolina, James William Wilson Jr., 19, entered Oakland Elementary School and opened fire, killing two 8-year-old girls and wounding 6 other students and 2 teachers.
    • December 16, 1988: Virginia Beach, Virginia, Nicholas Elliott, 15, opened fire with a SWD Cobray M-11 semiautomatic pistol at Atlantic Shores Christian School, killing teacher Karen Farley and wounding another.
    • January 17, 1989: Stockton, CaliforniaCleveland School massacre Patrick Edward Purdy, 26, killing five children and wounding 29 other students and a teacher. Purdy then killed himself.[168]

    by Pepperlynn on May. 6, 2013 at 9:56 AM
    1 mom liked this


    (U.S. Population: 248M-281M)

    (Total number of schools: 132K) [67]

    According to a survey conducted in 1993 by The Harvard School of Public Health,[169] "15% [of students surveyed] said that they had carried a handgun on their person in the past 30 days, and 4% said that they had taken a handgun to school in the past year," a sharp increase from just five years earlier.

    According to the National School Safety Center, since the 1992-1993 U.S. school year there has been a significant decline in school-associated violent deaths (deaths on private or public school property for kindergarten through grade 12 and resulting from schools functions or activities):[171]

    According to the U.S. Department of Education, in the 1998-1999 School Year, 3,523 students (57% High School, 33% Junior High, 10% Elementary) were expelled for bringing a firearm to school.[172]

    • December 17, 1993Chelsea, Michigan, High school teacher Steven Leith walked out of a staff meeting, returned with a gun, fatally shot the school district's superintendent and wounded the principal and a teacher. The gunman, identified by co-workers as Steve Leith, a science teacher, was arrested at Chelsea High School, the police said. The shooting occurred about an hour after classes ended, during a staff meeting. The Police Chief, Lenard McDougall, said of the suspect: "I found him sitting in a chair in the classroom by himself. He said 'Hi,' and he was taken into custody. He was quiet, very quiet." A 9-millimeter semiautomatic gun was found outside the building, the police said. Joseph Piasecki, superintendent of Chelsea schools, died at Chelsea Community Hospital of multiple gunshot wounds. Phil Jones, 44, an English teacher, was treated for a stomach wound. The principal, Ronald Mead, 43, was shot in the leg.[173]
    • March 1, 1994: Boonville, Missouri, Dante D. Hayes, 33, a hunter and ex-convict, shot and killed Richard Vancena, 58, a cafeteria manager, and Robin Michelle Coleman, 33, a cook, in the mess hall of Kemper Military School and College. He was drunk and looking for his wife Anna Hayes with whom he had a fight the night before. No students were harmed. [174]
    • November 7, 1994: Wickliffe, Ohio, (Wickliffe Middle School shooting) Keith Ledeger, 37, a former student at the school, shot and killed custodian Pete Christopher and wounded four other adults.
    • January 12, 1995: Seattle, Washington, A 15-year-old Garfield High School student left school during the day and returned with his grandfather's 9mm semiautomatic handgun. He wounded two students.[175]
    • October 12, 1995: Blackville, South Carolina (Blackville-Hilda High School shooting) Anthony Sincino, 16, killed one teacher and wounded another before committing suicide.
    • November 15, 1995: Lynnville, Tennessee, (Richland High School shooting) James Rouse, 17, killed a student and teacher and seriously wounded another teacher with a .22-caliber rifle.
    • February 2, 1996: Moses Lake, Washington, (Frontier Middle School shooting) Barry Loukaitis, 14, killed a teacher and two students and wounded another student when he opened fire on his algebra class.
    • August 15, 1996: San Diego, California, (San Diego State University shooting) Frederick Martin Davidson, a 36-year-old graduate student killed three professors that he believed were involved in a conspiracy against him.
    • September 17, 1996: State College, Pennsylvania (Hetzel Union Building shooting) Jillian Robbins, 19, shot and killed one student and injured two outside Pennsylvania State University’s Hetzel Union Building.
    • February 19, 1997: Bethel, Alaska, Bethel Regional High School student Evan Ramsey, 16, shot and killed the school’s principal and one student, and wounded two other students..
    • October 1, 1997: Pearl, Mississippi, (Pearl High School shooting) Luke Woodham, 16, murdered his mother at home before killing his ex-girlfriend and another student and wounding seven others at Pearl High School. The perpetrator attempted to flee police and continue his killing spree at a nearby middle school, but he was stopped and detained by the Vice Principal,[176] Joel Myrick, who had retrieved his .45 caliber handgun from his car after hearing the shots fired. Woodham and his friends were said to be outcasts who worshiped Satan.
    • November 27, 1997: West Palm Beach, Florida, Conniston Middle School student Tronneal Magnum, 14, fatally shot Johnpierre Kamel, 14, outside school after an argument over a wristwatch.[177]
    • December 1, 1997: West Paducah, Kentucky, (Heath High School shooting) Three students were killed and five wounded by Michael Carneal, 14, as they participated in a prayer circle.
    • December 15, 1997: Stamps, Arkansas Joseph “Colt” Todd, 14, concealed in a wooded area on school grounds, shot and wounded two students as they were entering Stamps High School.[178]
    • March 24, 1998: Craighead County, ArkansasMitchell Johnson, 13, and Andrew Golden, 11, killed four students and one teacher and wounded ten others as Westside Middle Schoolemptied during a fire alarm intentionally set off by Golden.[179]
    • April 24, 1998: Edinboro, Pennsylvania, (Parker Middle School dance shooting) Andrew Wurst, 14, fatally shot teacher John Gillette, 48, and wounded two students and a teacher at an 8th grade graduation dance.
    • May 19, 1998: Fayetteville, Tennessee, Jacob Davis, 18, shot Robert Creson, 18, in a dispute over a girl.[180]
    • May 21, 1998: Springfield, Oregon, After killing his parents at home, Kip Kinkel, 15, drove to Thurston High School where he shot and killed two students and wounded 25 others.
    • June 15, 1998: Richmond, Virginia, A 14-year-old student of Armstrong High School wounded a teacher and a school volunteer.[181]
    • December 10, 1998: Detroit, Michigan, Professor Andrzej Olbrot was killed by graduate student Wlodzimierz Dedecjus, 48.[182]
    • April 20, 1999: Columbine, Colorado, (Columbine High School massacreEric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, killed 12 students and one teacher, and wounded 21 others before committing suicide at Columbine High School.
    • May 20, 1999: Conyers, Georgia, (Heritage High School shooting) Six students injured by Thomas Solomon Jr., 15.
    • June 8, 1999: Lynwood, California, 15 year-old Jessica Yvette Zavala and her 17 year-old cousin, Olivia Munguia, were shot by an unknown assailant outside Lynwood High School.
    • November 19, 1999: Deming, New Mexico, A 13-year-old girl fatally shot at Deming Middle School by Victor Cordova Jr., 13. Cordova stated he had intended to commit suicide but was jostled by others and the gun moved.[
    by on May. 6, 2013 at 9:59 AM
    1 mom liked this

    Isn't GA part of the Bible Belt? Why would they have an issue with this?  I get the whole separation of church and state but I see nothing wrong with kids praying in school as long as they aren't led by teachers and do it of their own free will.

    by Roma on May. 6, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    Quoting jeweldragons:

    Isn't GA part of the Bible Belt? Why would they have an issue with this?  I get the whole separation of church and state but I see nothing wrong with kids praying in school as long as they aren't led by teachers and do it of their own free will.

    So if your kid decides to go to school and sit in a room and pray all day and skip all their classes that is OK with you?

    by on May. 6, 2013 at 10:06 AM
    LOL. Yah sure,you betcha.

    Quoting Koltie6:

    We used to pray in schools and i dont remember the shootings back then. Hmmm maybe we should get back to some of that.
    Posted on CafeMom Mobile
    by Gold Member on May. 6, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    If it was the student's idea and no one was forced to pray against their will then who cares? They should be punished for missing class (which apparently they only missed a part of the first period so I don't know how severe of a punishment whey would get anyway), but not for praying.

    by on May. 6, 2013 at 10:07 AM
    1 mom liked this
    :-) that's the ticket !

    Quoting romalove:

    Maybe they should just suspend school in Georgia and put the kids in church to pray.

    That'll edumacate them.

    Posted on CafeMom Mobile
    by Member on May. 6, 2013 at 10:11 AM
    2 moms liked this
    I wasn't there so I can't say whether they intended to skip class or intentions were sincere. Sometimes when the Spirit moves you just can't put a time frame on things. We prayed during school on 9/11 so I see nothing wrong with it under certain circumstances.
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