FFRF was informed by a member of the Seminole County Public School District that administrators at Casselberry Elementary School invited representatives of Action Church to pray over the school. The church then posted about the event, thanking the school administrators for the opportunity to “pray over the building, students and staff.” The complainant also reported that Lake Howell High School’s football team attended a gathering at Action Church where student athletes were led in prayer and encouraged to convert to Christianity, which Action Church again posted on social media about. Action Church is a Protestant ministry with a mission of “reaching people where they are and connecting them to everything God has for their life.”
“It is inappropriate and unconstitutional for the district to offer religious leaders unique access to student athletes in order to indoctrinate them and lead them in prayer,” FFRF Legal Fellow Sammi Lawrence wrote to the district’s legal counsel Stephanie K. Stewart.
In response, Stewart wrote an email to FFRF regarding discussions held with the offending principals. “Both principals have addressed the matter with Action Church. Additionally, the assistant superintendents of elementary schools, middle schools and high schools have been retrained on engagement with religious groups.”