FFRF halts coach-led prayer at Ohio high school (Nov. 25, 2014)

Olentangy High School stopped allowing employees to institute prayers at school-sponsored events thanks to the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

The coach of the Olentangy High School Girls Cross Country team invited a student to deliver a prayer at an end-of-season banquet. “It is unlawful for any school-sponsored event to include prayer,” said Senior Staff Attorney Rebecca Markert in a letter sent Nov. 20, 2014.

“Prayer occurring as part of a regularly scheduled annual event sponsored or even co-sponsored by the school certainly leads ‘an objective observer, acquainted with the [prayer to] perceive it as a state endorsement,’ ” wrote Markert, quoting a Supreme Court case.

Superintendent Wade E. Lucas responded on Nov. 25, stating that he agreed that the coach’s solicitation of a team prayer was unconstitutional, and would “take steps to monitor and ensure that appropriate distance is maintained by our coaches.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation