Pre-game prayer ceases (December 12, 2016)

Coaches in an Arkansas public school district will no longer be promoting personal religious beliefs after FFRF presented video evidence of a Harmony Grove School District football coach and a team chaplain leading his team in prayer before a game.

FFRF Staff Attorney Sam Grover wrote to Superintendent Daniel Henley, informing him of the dual constitutional violations of district staff praying with students and athletic team chaplains in a public school setting.

In reply, Henley claimed that the prayer had been organized by a student-
athlete and that the coaches did not organize or participate in the prayer. Grover then presented two pieces of video evidence clearly displaying a pastor leading the players and coaches in a team prayer.

On Dec. 12, Henley stated in an email that, after reviewing the video evidence, he had met with the district’s athletic director and head football coach and had been assured that coach-led prayer would cease.

Freedom From Religion Foundation