Prayers by Coach Stopped in Indiana School District

A district parent and taxpayer alerted the Foundation to a praying coach at Maconaquah Middle School in Bunker Hill, Ind. According to the parent, the 7th grade boys basketball coach regularly prayed with the players. FFRF Staff Attorney Rebecca Markert (then Kratz) sent a letter to the Maconaquah School Corporation asking it to immediately investigate and end this unconstitutional practice. “The Supreme Court has continually struck down formal and teacher—or school-led prayer in public schools. The prayers before the Maconaquah Middle School’s basketball games and practices constitute an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion,” the letter said. The coach’s conduct, the letter added, “crosses the line because he endorses and promotes his religion when acting in his official capacity as a school district employee.” The Superintendent distributed directives to all coaches and other extracurricular staff forbidding them “from leading prayer at any school function as directed by the Supreme Court of the United States of America.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation