FFRF getting involved in the Bryant High School situation.

The FFRF has sent a letter to Bryant High School in Arkansas about the football coach organizing a prayer service for the football team.

FFRF Staff Attorney Patrick Elliott sent an August 22 letter to Bryant Public Schools Superintendent Randy Rutherford requesting he cancel the team religious worship service.

The school is violating the Constitution by endorsing and promoting a religious event. The school will trample on the Constitution by allowing the school- and coach-sponsored “Bryant Hornet Football Team Worship” to be held as planned.

“Bryant Public Schools has a duty to remain neutral toward religion,” Elliott wrote. “By one of its employees scheduling a religious service for a school athletic team, the district has breached that duty.”

The letter itself is a lovely piece of work.  Here are their demands at the end of the letter:

Coach Calley‘s actions are a clear violation of the Constitution. He may not organize a religious worship service for his team, nor may he invite players to attend such a service. Bryant Public Schools must take immediate corrective action, including instructing Coach Calley to cancel this team event. The District must educate Coach Calley and all District employees that they may  not lead, encourage, or participate in student religious activity. Please inform us in Writing at your earliest convenience of the steps the District is taking to remedy these violations.

When you’ve got the nuts, you bet ‘em.  If your opponent is dumb enough to call with nothing at that point, you just let ‘em lose.

Here’s hoping the superintendent will realize what a foredoomed lawsuit this would be and doesn’t punish the students for the coach’s errors by wasting dollars earmarked for education.  Of course, I doubt the prayer meeting was something of which the superintendent was ignorant, yet it has been allowed to occur every year.  So just knowing that it’s illegal hasn’t been enough…but maybe the threat of being caught will motivate him.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


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