CULLMAN, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama school superintendent denies that the system is sponsoring a "prayer caravan" event that's drawn complaints from an atheist group.
Cullman County School Superintendent Billy Coleman is also a pastor, and he has helped promote the event. Coleman has said his involvement in the prayer caravan is causing confusion, but he denies that the school board itself is behind the event. The caravan is expected to feature prayer sessions at each of the district's schools lasting for between 15 and 20 minutes each.
"I absolutely appreciate the board for doing what they needed to do to clear the air and protect our school system," Coleman told the Cullman Times Wednesday. "Now, the prayer caravan can move forward as what it was intended to be from the beginning, supported by communities and local churches."
The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation still opposes the prayer event, which is set for Saturday, Aug. 10.
"Wishing or stating that 'the school system doesn't sponsor' the event does not make it so," Freedom From Religion Foundation attorney Andrew Seidel said in a statement. "This event was organized by the Superintendent, who used his official power to post the event on the official district website, to post the event on the official district Facebook page, and the event bears the title 'Cullman County Schools Prayer Caravan.'"
Christians plan to gather at each Cullman County school that day for prayer sessions before the opening of the academic year.
Cullman schools regularly promote religion to students despite laws separating church and state, Seidel said.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Stocks are falling on Wall Street as traders react to disappointing earnings from U.S. companies.
Working-age military retirees would see fewer dollars in their federal pensions and the Pentagon would get some long-sought stability in spending under Congress' budget deal.
The NSA chief said Wednesday he knows of no better way his agency can help protect the U.S. from foreign threats than with spy programs that collect billions of phone and Internet records from around the world.
Southeastern Conference coaches have voted Auburn's Gus Malzahn coach of the year, and picked his star tailback Tre Mason as the top offensive player.
Monday's decision by the Hoover Board of Education to rescind its decision to cut bus service for the 2014-2015 school year was well received by many.
A Montgomery judge has scheduled a trial June 3 over whether the state government can keep the cash and destroy the gambling machines seized in a raid of VictoryLand casino in Macon County.
It's time for the December sky show. The annual Geminids meteor shower -- the most intense of the year -- will peak Friday night.
Tablet computers are expected to top many kids' holiday lists, but parents need to do their homework first.