Seminole County group upset over high school football game prayer

Prayer occurred at Seminole High School in Sanford

SANFORD, Fla. - A Seminole County football team took a knee and prayed for an injured player, but their act of faith has caused concern for the Freedom from Religion Foundation.

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Freedom from Religion Foundation consists mostly atheist parents, and the group is looking into allegations that a chaplain led the players in prayer.

The group said it received at least one complaint after the game at Seminole High School in Sanford last week.

A Seminole County Schools representative told Local 6 that students are allowed to pray, but coaches and employees are not allowed to lead them.  The school denies accusations that a chaplain prayed with the team.

Parent Andre Collins said Wednesday that he saw his son and the team praying last week at the game.

"There are a lot more important issues going on in the world than worrying about kids are praying at a game," Collins said.

Many others agreed with Collins' point of view.

"To call out kids that are in high school and, you know, saying, 'Hey, they shouldn't be doing it.' Come on, let's get real," said Barbara Frase, a football player's grandparent.

The injured quarterback for whom the team was praying was back at the field Wednesday night, supporting the junior varsity team. His father, Kerry Wiggins, the head football coach, would not confirm reports that he is a minister off the field.

"We live in a country where we're free to do what we want to do," said Collins. "If they want to pastor outside of football that's fine, it doesn't necessarily mean they're trying to influence the kids to pray or seek any type of religious affiliation."

Meanwhile, Orange County Public Schools earlier this year banned chaplains from leading prayers with students.

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