Prayer out, moment of silence in at Dillon ball games

Dillon School District Four will no longer allow prayer at its football games.

Superintendent Ray Rogers says they don't want to come under scrutiny of the American Civil Liberties Union for violation of separation of church and state.

Instead, they will offer up a moment of silence.

"When we have a moment of silence. That's up to each individual how and who they want to pray to. We don't have anything to say except that's your right and you do it anyway you want to as long as you're not directing the kids," stated Rogers.

Rogers added that a lawsuit filed by the ACLU against the Chesterfield County School District over a Christian pep rally last year made them re-examine their policies.

"All our legal advisers have told us that we need to abide by what the law states as to what we can do and we can't do. It's not whether we agree with it or not, it's what the law is. And have we been going by the law? Most school districts haven't. As of now, being notified of what you can do and can not do, then we're going to have to do the very best can to get by."

During last Friday's game at the Dillon High School Football Stadium, the announcer, Lonnie Turner, called for a moment of silence, but the crowd began reciting the Lord's Prayer.

"What you gonna do to a stand full of people that recites the Lord's Prayer before a ballgame. I don't think any law was broken . Any law anywhere. It would take a bunch of heathens to convict you of something like that you know, if you would go to court," said Turner.

Turner stated that after calling the games for 48 years, he is upset that he can no longer pray over the PA system.

"I'm offended when somebody tells me I can't pray, but I understand the school's administration and the threat of a lawsuit for using a public address system and I honor that."

Several school districts in our area, including Florence School District One and Georgetown County School District, have removed prayer from its school board meetings.