W. Va. football coach ends pregame prayers (June 6, 2018)

FFRF notified a West Virginia school district that it is illegal for public school athletic coaches to lead their teams in prayer or participate in student prayers.

On May 31, FFRF Senior Counsel Patrick Elliott wrote to Superintendent of McDowell Country Schools Nelson Spencer to register a complaint against Mount View High School football coach Larry Thompson, who led his team in prayer at a team meal this past fall prior to the homecoming football game.

On June 6, Spencer replied, assuring FFRF that actions have been taken to correct the constitutional violation. Spencer reported that “all country principals will be scheduled for a professional development session on district adherence to the constitutional expectations of separation between state and church,” in addition to a meeting “with the coach in question and the principal at Mount View High School to discuss [FFRF’s] letter and review the district’s expectations for endorsing or promotion of religion by its staff.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation