Cullman County Schools Superintendent Billy Coleman plans to go ahead with the prayer caravan this Saturday, despite several complaints from the Freedom from Religion Foundation that it violates the separation of church and state.
Coleman held a news conference Tuesday at the Chamber of Commerce in Cullman. In his speech, he said he wants to stand his ground and be involved in the prayer event he helped create.
Coleman did mention that his biggest concern was becoming a distraction. He said the last things he wants is to take away from the event. He said the final decision will likely be made the morning of the event.
Community members at the news conference told WAFF they want Coleman to attend and support him completely.
Coleman has also had some state and national support. People from all across the country reached out to him. He was even interviewed by a Los Angeles radio station.
Legal experts have advised Coleman to stand firm and say he has never violated the constitution.
"If those authorities determine that acting in my capacity as Superintendent of Education, I have made a mistake in carrying out my official duties, than I fully accept consequences," said Coleman. "Nevertheless, I do not recognize a private organization from Wisconsin as one of those authorities to which I am subject.
"Moreover, I have received legal advice that despite my official position as superintendent, I have the right to organize private events in my private capacity as a citizen of Cullman County," said Coleman.
The attorney for the FFRF said they watched the news conference streaming on waff.com. We couldn't reach him for comment after it was over, but he did reaffirm that they believe Superintendent Billy Coleman is violating the constitution.
The FFRF is still planning to send members to Cullman on Saturday to view the prayer caravan. Coleman said he is happy they will be there to see private citizens exercising their constitutional rights.
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