Calif. swim meets will go secular (July 24, 2015)

The Visalia Seahawks, a swim team organized by the city of Visalia, Calif., will no longer be subjected to prayers over the loudspeaker at meets. The team had solicited parents to volunteer to give the prayer.

“Any reasonable Visalia resident would interpret the prayers at the swim meet as government endorsement of religion,” Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel wrote in a July 17 letter.

Nicolas Cardella, attorney for the city, responded July 24: “We conducted a review of the facts and law and determined the practice should be discontinued. City staff have since reminded league representatives that the Seahawks swim team is part of the City’s recreation program, that opening a municipal recreation event with prayer is improper, and that the practice must be discontinued.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation