Missouri coach won’t lead team in prayer (October 16, 2020)

In Missouri, a coach in the Jasper R-5 School District has been advised to cease proselytizing students.

FFRF was informed that Jasper High School’s head football coach was regularly leading his team in prayer. During these prayers, student athletes knelt around the coach, with additional coaching staff surrounding the students as he gave a Christian prayer and then led the students in reciting the Lord’s prayer.

FFRF Staff Attorney Chris Line wrote to Superintendent Christina Hess, reminding the district that it is illegal for public school staff to lead students in prayer.

The district’s attorney alerted FFRF in a letter of response that the district has investigated the incidences of staff-led prayer and that “employees of the district were reminded of the district’s board policy regarding religion at school and were also instructed not to lead students in, or promote, prayer.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation