No more prayers before S.C. district games (January/February 2024)

The Kershaw County School District in Camden, S.C., will no longer be broadcasting prayers before football games.

A concerned community member reported that the district had been imposing prayer on students, parents and community members before its football games. Reportedly, on Oct. 6, 2023, a preacher from a local church delivered a Christian prayer over the loudspeaker before a football game at North Central High School. The prayer was delivered “in Jesus’ name” and made requests to “our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” The complainant was an atheist and felt alienated by this official school-sponsored Christian prayer.

“The Supreme Court has specifically struck down invocations given over the loudspeaker at public school athletic events, even when student-led,” FFRF Staff Attorney Chris Line wrote to Superintendent J. Harrison Goodwin.

In response, FFRF received an email from legal representative for the district, John Reagle. “It appears that the prayer at issue was not consistent with the district policy regarding messages at athletic events,” Reagle wrote. Reagle thanked FFRF for the continued interest in the rights of students and families.

Freedom From Religion Foundation