Students will no longer be subjected to religious promotion in Pennsylvania school district (March 10, 2020)

After hearing from FFRF, administrators in the Lackawanna Trail School District have taken several affirmative steps to ensure that students are no longer subject to religious promotion during athletic events.

FFRF was informed that before each Lackawanna Trail High School football game, the team gathered in a prayer circle in which team coaches participated.

FFRF Staff Attorney Madeline Ziegler wrote to Superintendent Matthew Rakauskas, reminding the district that it is illegal for public school coaches to sponsor prayers, as doing so constitutes a government endorsement of religion.

The district’s attorney sent a letter of response assuring FFRF that the football coach was directed to cease leading the team in prayers. Rakauskas also issued a directive to all coaches that school-led prayer is not permitted at any school event and held a district-wide training earlier this year, where he specifically instructed staff not to lead or take part in prayer with students.

Freedom From Religion Foundation