Iowa school’s football program removes religion (January/February 2024)

The Pella CSD in Iowa has taken steps to ensure that the Pella High School football team will no longer be infused with Christianity.

A concerned parent reported that the Pella High School football team’s official motto was “TLCBF,” which stood for “Trust, Love, Commitment, Belief and Faith.” The official website included a description of “faith” as “What is the only thing in life that cannot be taken away from you? Take a look at Job’s life for the answer.” Additionally, during the Oct. 6 freshman football game’s halftime show, the school broadcasted overtly Christian music with numbers references to Jesus Christ.

“The district’s actions send an official message that excludes all nonreligious and non-Christian district students and community members,” FFRF Legal Fellow Sammi Lawrence wrote to district legal counsel Danielle J. Haindfield.

After receiving the letter, FFRF was informed by Haindfield that district Superintendent Greg Ebeling investigated the situation, directly meeting with the coach to discuss these concerns. “Pella High School football team’s official motto has been modified to eliminate references to the biblical story of Job,” she wrote. Additionally, after reviewing the concern regarding halftime show music, the district will be more mindful of its music selections.

Freedom From Religion Foundation