When a group of football players was asked to engage in a prayer session, a group of upset atheists decided to strike back. Because public schools are taxpayer-funded, they’re not supposed to be affiliated with any specific religion. But when a Missouri school district had its football players singing the praises of Jesus Christ after a game, they were criticized as doing something that was “illegal.”
Once word got out about the post-game prayer session among public school students in Missouri, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) got involved. The nonprofit organization, which advocates for non-religious people, wrote a threatening letter to the Missouri school’s head coach Jeff Wallance about how he should not be using taxpayer money to lead students in Christian prayer. Wallance was not the only public official who was caught up in the scandal. Assistant coach David Stucky was also accused of rounding up three students and urging them to engage in a Christian ritual at the 50-yard line after the game.
According to Zac Summers on Twitter, “Controversy brewing in Cameron, Missouri where the high school football coaches reportedly have been leading their players in prayer after games. A church-state watchdog group wants it to stop. The district’s response and community reaction, tonight after the game.”
Because the Cameron coaches hos the prayer session after the games, they’ve also forced opposing teams to be part of it although they have not wanted to, given the separation of church and state in America.
The letter to the school from the Freedom From Religion Foundations said:
“We ask that the district commence an investigation into the complaints alleged and taken immediate action to stop any and all school-sponsored prayers or religious worship.”
FFRF attorney Christopher Line added that the school district must alert the foundation of how they will “remedy this serious and flagrant violation of the First Amendment.”
Meanwhile, the Superintendent of Cameron School District, Dr. Matt Robinson, offered a pointed response to the first amendment watchdog group. He argued that no local person complained about the prayer, and this was the first issue he had seen concerning it.
“As outlined in District policy, the Cameron R-I School District does not endorse religion,” Robinson said to Fox News. “The District is currently investigating the concerns raised in the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s letter to the District, pursuant to the District’s non-discrimination policy and policy regarding religious expression, to determine whether District policy has been violated. The District takes concerns of violations of policy seriously and will take action with regard to any findings from this investigation as appropriate.”
In response to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, attorney Jeremy Dys of the anti-separation of church and state group First Liberty Institute said that unless FFRF plans to prove that the community has a problem with the prayer at school, he doesn’t think there’s a problem with it.
“This letter is little more than a noisy, public complaint meant to harass and embarrass Americans just trying to live their lives,” Dys told Fox News. “Unless someone presents a plaintiff with actual legal standing, school officials should ignore these letters. No one should reward efforts to gin up controversy where none exists.”
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