Sissonville students prayed before the school's football game Friday night--even though officials had banned the traditional invocation just hours before.
Dozens of students wearing purple stood along the bleachers before kick off, holding hands while reciting a prayer for the players.
A parent had complained to the Kanawha County Board of Education about the praying that took place before football games. Superintendent Ron Deurring then banned the invocation from occurring Friday evening. But students had a different plan in mind. They still prayed.
"We should be able to pray and it shouldn't be taken away from us," said Hannah Hayes, a senior at Sissonville High. "If it's what the majority wants, then why should just one parent be able to take away prayer from all the students who want it."
The Carpenters both attended Sissonville High School, but they hadn't been to a football game since the early 1980s. They said a higher power called them to the field Friday night.
" I just don't feel it's right that one person can stand up to a whole community and say you don't have a right and you don't have voice because we've always had prayer at Sissonville, little league to high school," Lisa Carpenter said.
Hundreds of people wore purple: the color they say represents Jesus Christ. And even those not sporting the shade had something to say.
"I think we should be able to pray and I think it's kind of stupid they took it away from us," said Alton Hershman, a senior at SHS. "I thought it was great what they did and it was really respectful."
Just hours before the game students set up a Facebook page...Praying in Kanawha County Schools, which has already garnered has more than 5-hundred likes. Hayes said social media was a big factor in spreading the word about the impromptu prayer Friday evening.