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Freethought Today · April 2016

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

School told to get rid of pastor

FFRF is urging a Florida public high school to remove a pastor acting as school chaplain.

The Vero Beach High School football coach, Lenny Jankowski, employs a team chaplain, Pastor Joe Moore, to preach to his players. The team's football players and cheerleaders participate in game day prayer breakfasts at a local church, which often include ministers preaching to the football players and cheerleaders with football coaches in attendance. In addition, Moore seems to have access to the school's other teams, especially the baseball players.

Jankowski, also the athletic director for the school, suggests that Moore has access to the other sports teams. He states that Moore is considered full time, and the football team's staff photos support this.

Moore is given access to the team at baseball games and is allowed to be in the dugout with the team. He leads the team in prayer before baseball games. The players have reportedly even refused to take the baseball field without praying because they have become so accustomed to Moore delivering prayers.

FFRF is asking the Indian County River School District to immediately initiate an investigation, discontinue the "team chaplaincy" at Vero Beach High, and refrain from employing a "team chaplain" for any of the district's sports programs.