Michigan schools stop holding prayer circles (October 17, 2017)

FFRF has equipped a coaching staff in a Michigan school district to have a better understanding of the First Amendment.

On Sept. 28, a prayer ritual was performed after a football player was injured in a game between Bay City High School and H.H. Dow High School in Bay City, Mich. Both teams and coaches took a knee at the 50-yard line while the athlete was given medical attention. Afterward, a “prayer circle” was formed as the players and coaching staff on both teams joined hands on the field.

FFRF sent a letter to Midland Public Schools on Oct. 11, in which FFRF Legal Director Rebecca Markert informed the school district that the coaching staff’s conduct had been an unconstitutional endorsement and promotion of religion. Coaches can neither lead their teams in prayer nor can they organize students to lead team prayer.

On Oct. 17, Superintendent Michael Sharrow responded, informing FFRF that the staff had explained the law to the coaching staff and remedied the violation.

Freedom From Religion Foundation