Wise County Public Schools in Wise, Va., will no longer allow school-sponsored prayer before football games. The prayer was delivered before each home game over the loudspeaker by a member of the clergy.
On Sept. 18, FFRF Staff Attorney Patrick Elliott sent a letter to remind the district that public school sponsored religious messages are illegal and divisive:
“Not only is the District endorsing these prayers by allotting time for them at the start of football games, but it is also providing ministers with the public address system needed to impose these prayers on all students and community members at the football games.”
On Sept. 19, the school’s superintendent informed FFRF that, “We have addressed this issue and will resolve it immediately.” The football game later that day did not include a prayer over the P.A. system.
The Supreme Court has ruled that both clergy-led prayer and school prayer before football games violate the Constitution.