Atheist foundation wants to stop prayer caravan at Cullman schools

Churches are known to hold prayer caravans through neighborhoods. But is it ok for school district leaders to do so even if it's voluntary?

Cullman County School Superintendent Billy Coleman has announced the third annual prayer caravan to every school in the district August tenth. If the caravan moves forward the county school system may face a lawsuit.

The nation's largest association of atheists and agnostics, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, has threatened suit.{}{}{}{}

They sent a letter to superintendent Bill Coleman this week. The foundation wants the caravan cancelled.The foundation also says it was informed that the school district recites The Lord's Prayer over the public address system at the start of each school day.

Coleman says he has never heard prayers recited over the PA system. We spoke with a parent who says she asked her son if prayer was recited at his school, and he said no.

As for the prayer caravan, Coleman has taken the announcement off the Cullman County School website. He insists, even though he initiated the event, it is not sponsored by the school. Rather, an event that he, along with parents, some teachers and school board members, and others in the community decided to do on their own.

"It's really just anybody that wants to come. It's on a Saturday. School is not open. The doors are not locked, we don't go in the buildings or anything like that," said Coleman.

In the letter, the foundation asked Coleman to reply in writing by August 2nd, informing them of steps taken to do away with the prayer caravan and alleged prayer over the PA system.

Coleman says he will reply as requested, but he will not stop the prayer caravan.

Dozens of parents say they stand in support of the prayer caravan. However, the Freedom From Religion Foundation says it was contacted by " several concerned local residents".