Coach won’t organize prayers (February 1, 2016)

A Michigan public school softball coach will no longer lead team members in prayer.

In May 2015, FFRF sent a letter to North Branch Area Schools Superintendent Thomas English alerting him that high school softball coach Willie Deshetsky was leading his team members in prayer. FFRF sent English photos of Deshetsky’s team prayerfully holding hands with him.

“It is illegal for public school athletic coaches to lead their team in prayer,” FFRF Staff Attorney Rebecca Markert wrote.

FFRF finally received a response in February informing the organization that the coach had been asked to desist.

“Coach Willie Deshetsky was officially informed he cannot organize, advocate or lead the softball team in prayer,” North Branch Athletic Director James Fish said in his reply.

Freedom From Religion Foundation