FFRF ends football team chaplain’s tenure at Ohio high school (Oct. 23, 2014)

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has ensured that adults will no longer participate in student religious activities at Bath High School in Lima, Ohio.

FFRF Staff Attorney Rebecca Markert wrote to Bath Local Schools on Oct. 16 after a local complainant forwarded a media profile of the high school’s “team chaplain,” who, along with coaches, participated in prayer with students. “It is illegal for a public school to organize, sponsor, or lead religious prayers at public high school athletics,” wrote Markert. “It is also inappropriate for a public school to offer religious leaders unique access to befriend and proselytize students.”

Superintendent Dale Lewellen responded Oct. 23: “I recognized that the constitutional line may have been crossed and have taken appropriate steps to ensure it will not recur. Religious proselytization and/or participation by staff in their school capacities are not consistent with my aim to comply with applicable constitutional and statutory requirements.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation