FFRF brings end to football prayer in Alabama school district (Oct. 31, 2011)

FFRF received a complaint in September 2011, from a concerned resident of Lauderdale County, Ala., about Christian prayers over the loudspeaker at Brooks High School in Killen before home football games. In a Sept. 15 letter of complaint, FFRF Staff Attorney Stephanie Schmitt asked Superintendent William Valentine to “take immediate action to ensure that prayers are not scheduled at any school-sponsored events. After a follow-up letter sent Oct. 17, the district brought a halt to their illegal practice.

In an Oct. 31 response, the district enclosed an Oct. 27 memo sent by Valentine to district administrators and employees saying, “Effective immediately, football games are not to be opened with a prayer that is in anyway led, directed, organized or encouraged by Lauderdale County Board of Education employees.” Valentine added, “Additionally, no student, parent, volunteer, or anyone else may use the public address system of the stadium to lead, direct, organize, or encourage prayer.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation