Prayers stopped at Virginia high school baseball games

FFRF halted a 13-year state/church violation involving high school baseball teammates (Loudon County, Va.) who were led in prayer by coaches before each game, including in the 2010 season. A picture of the coaches praying with the players appeared on the school’s website and in a school yearbook, along with a quote from a student: “Before each game, we go to left field, take a knee, take our hats off, and the team prays.” FFRF Senior Staff Attorney Rebecca Markert wrote a letter (Sept. 23, 2010) objecting to this unconstitutional tradition. Federal law “dictates government employees should refrain from actively participating in religious activities while acting within their governmental role to avoid any perception of government endorsement of religion and/or excessive entanglement with religion.” An attorney for the district responded (Jan. 20, 2011): “We have taken steps to insure that administrators and coaches are aware of the current status of the law and strictly adhere to those parameters in the future.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation