Mississippi Mayor Delivers Christian Prayer at Local High School Awards Ceremony

By Hemant Mehta

When Long Beach High School in Mississippi held its “22nd Annual Superintendent’s Academic Awards” this spring, the schedule included a speaking slot for Mayor George Bass (below). Specifically, Bass was scheduled to deliver a prayer, which is exactly what he did:

Bass led the assembled group of parents, students and staff in a prayer addressed to “our Father” and concluding, “in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.”

Why was a Christian prayer scheduled at a public school event? And even in Mississippi, how did every administrator and the mayor himself not realize this was breaking the law?

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. The Freedom From Religion Foundation wrote to the same school last September regarding a football coach who prayed with students and a marching band director who “scheduled recitations of the Lord’s Prayer.” They never heard back.

But FFRF is writing again to put a stop to the mayor’s prayers.

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