Team chaplain barred in Florida (Nov. 24, 2014)

A Nov. 24 FFRF letter ensured the removal of a team chaplain who, with coaches, led Franklin County Schools athletes in prayer in the locker rooms, at practices and at games.

“Public high school football teams cannot appoint or employ a chaplain, seek out a spiritual leader for the team, or agree to have a volunteer team chaplain, because public schools may not advance or promote religion,” wrote Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel.

Superintendent Nina Marks, Eastpoint, Fla., later responded that the individual in question was employed as a statistician and film editor, not as a chaplain, and was “acting entirely on his behalf without permission or authority of the administration.” He and other employees were reminded that district staff “cannot and will not participate or encourage religious activities of any kind.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation