McCoy's Message Present at Winfield Graduation

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Coach Leon McCoy was absent from this year's Winfield High School graduation but his message was not.

According to people who attended the class of 2014's ceremony Thursday evening at the Municipal Auditorium, the words that Coach McCoy normally brought to the students was incorporated by one of the evening's graduates in his speech.

For decades, Coach McCoy has given a speech called "If I could Pray" speech to grads. But this year he agreed not to speak after the leaders in the Putnam County School System received complaints about the religious overtones.

The decision didn't sit well with people who live in this community. The school's superintendent Chuck Hatfield told that:

"Unfortunately whether we agree with the law or not, all public schools, including Winfield, are in the position of making decisions that must comply with the law. This decision is not about anyone's personal thoughts, feelings or beliefs."

A few week prior to graduation students rallied and very very vocal about how they felt the move was unfair.

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