West Branch community says ‘prayer matters’ before games

West Branch's superintendent said this decision isn't final, but will help satisfy what they want to do while exploring all of their options

West Branch prayer

BELOIT, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s been a tradition in the West Branch School District for the past 30 years — a community prayer before the basketball game. That tradition was put on hold because of a complaint, but those who wanted to pray still had the chance to on Friday.

“Please remain standing for a moment of silence, reflection, prayer or meditation,” the announcer told the crowd.

Afterward, everyone clapped and cheered.

The over 100 people in the gym wore black and green shirts that read, “Prayer Matters.”

“I was upset and outraged because our community is such a close-knit community, and it’s upsetting to see something that’s so important to so many people get taken down,” said West Branch graduate Whitney Parkison.

Superintendent Tim Saxton decided this was the best compromise for the time being.

He said this decision isn’t final, but will help satisfy what they want to do while exploring all of their options in respect to the law, board policy and the deeply-rooted faith within the community.


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