The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

August 6, 2013

School leader to address 'prayer caravan' concern

CULLMAN, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama school superintendent says he's scheduled a news conference to address controversy surrounding 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. But he denies that the school system is sponsoring the Aug. 10 event.

The Cullman Times reports (http://bit.ly/16pT1BY) that Coleman has called a news conference for 2 p.m. Tuesday to discuss the matter.

The caravan is expected to feature prayer sessions at each of the district's schools lasting for between 15 and 20 minutes each. Christians plan to gather at each Cullman County school that day for prayer sessions before the opening of the academic year.

The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation wants the event called off.

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