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Bus Driver Prayer Group Draws Controversy

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A group of Houston school bus drivers have been using their district's radio system to pray. It's a move that's drawn repercussions from the district.

For at least a week prior to Christmas, there was something going down on some HISD buses in the mornings that most parents didn't know about.

"We were praying on the radio," said bus driver Deborah McDonald.

That's right, bus drivers were praying. They say prayer was done by using a channel on the district's radio system that's dormant.

Deborah McDonald has been a bus operator for HISD for 22 years. She says they began their early morning prayers while on their routes because of so many tragedies among their drivers.

"A mother and a grandmother lost a 12 year old, one had a stroke, and then one had got hit by a car," said McDonald.

But when the district got wind of the growing bus operator prayer circle, Deborah and four other drivers found themselves punished by way of write ups.

Wretha Thomas represents the bus drivers. She says HISD is operating under a double standard.

"It is sad that the district would take this position writing up my bus drivers and, in fact, HISD prays at the board meetings every time they get ready to have a board meeting. They're allowed to pray," Thomas said.

But the district, according to drivers, is not punishing them for praying, but they're being punished because they used the district's radio system as a vehicle to spread that morning spiritual message.

"That's why we are where we are today, so many killings, so many robberies, steady building jails when they should be building schools because there is no God in the schools anymore," said McDonald.

As a result of the five bus drivers being written, their union and supporters will stage a protest at HISD headquarters. What will they do at that protest? What the drivers know best; they will pray.

KRIV has placed a call and sent an email to HISD for a response, so far they have not heard back.

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