Football pregame prayer ended at Neb. school (January/February 2024)

FFRF took action to ensure that student athletes at Omaha Westside High School in Nebraska would not be coerced into prayer before games.

Reportedly, the head football coach directed students to pray before the Nov. 21 Class A state championship game. A report and video from a local reporter confirmed the complaint. In the video, the coach ordered all the student athletes to kneel around him and participate in a sectarian prayer led by a student.

“Student athletes have the First Amendment right to be free from religious indoctrination when participating in their public school’s athletics program,” FFRF Legal Fellow Sammi Lawrence wrote to the district.

After receiving the letter, Superintendent Mike Lucas emailed FFRF, informing of the coming change. “We will make sure that all coaches and sponsors understand this important issue and that requiring prayer is not appropriate,” he wrote.

Freedom From Religion Foundation