Pre-game prayers promptly ended (September 29, 2014)

Aberdeen Central High School in Aberdeen, S.D., will no longer permit its coaching staff to engage in pre-game prayers before football games.

After a complaint was filed with FFRF, Staff Attorney Patrick Elliott sent a letter on Sept. 24 to inform Aberdeen School District that this practice violates the Constitution:

“The coaches’ apparent organizing and obvious participation in a team prayer constitutes an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion. A reasonable member of the Central High School football team would certainly perceive such a prayer ‘as stamped with [his or] her school’s approval.’”

On Sept. 29, the superintendent replied, “All members of the administrative leadership team and coaching staff have received follow-up correspondence which instructs them not to organize, encourage, or participate in student prayer at any event sponsored by the District.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation