Michigan school district pulls video of family circle after critics claimed it promoted prayer

A Michigan district decided to pull a video of a family circle from a high school football team’s Facebook page Friday following pressure from activists who claimed the footage promoted prayer.

Lake City High School football posted the video in August showing students, athletes and other members of the community gathering in what they called a family circle to support head coach Kyle Smith, whose 4-year-old daughter Harper has been battling an intestinal illness for two months, according to 9 & 10 News.

However, the Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists took issue with the school posting the video because they claimed it promoted religious prayer.

The school announced they would remove the video after talking with an attorney, according to the station. The school hoped to avoid a costly legal battle.

The activist group supported the school’s decision.

“The bottom line is it’s the property of the school and the school has a responsibility to treat it just like any other school property, and that means it has to remain free of religion,” the group’s co-founder told 9 & 10 News.

Jennifer Smith, a Lake City community member, said she was frustrated over the decision, but added the controversy only made the #HarperStrong movement stronger.

“All they’ve really done for us is increase the funding, the fundraising, and there are schools down in Jennison that are now wearing #harperstrong on their football helmets,” Smith said.