Public complaint targets high school football coach, team for ‘illegal’ prayer

(KCTV video screenshot)

Angry atheists hellbent on interfering in other people’s activities are back for another round of complaints — and just in time for Christmas 2019.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation, a far-left non-profit notorious for trying to shut down public displays of prayer and worship, popped back into the spotlight again last month by sending a letter to a school district in Missouri demanding one high school’s football team stop praying before and after games.

“It is our understanding that Cameron High School’s head football coach, Jeff Wallace, and assistant coach, David Stucky, have been holding religious ‘chapel’ services for players before and after football games where coaches pray with players and read and discuss bible verses,” the letter read.

And because the Supreme Court has previously “struck down school-sponsored prayer,” the coaches at Cameron High School must be investigated and cease and desist with their flagrant violations of the law, the left-wing group’s letter continued.

Read the full letter below:

“We ask that the district commence an investigation into the complaints alleged and take immediate action to stop any and all school-sponsored prayers or religious worship,” the letter concluded, with attorney Christopher Line adding that the district should inform him of how it plans to “remedy this serious and flagrant violation of the First Amendment.”

Speaking this week with Fox News, Jeremy Dys from the pro-religious First Liberty Institute non-profit argued that the district’s best bet is to just ignore the letter.

“This letter is little more than a noisy, public complaint meant to harass and embarrass Americans just trying to live their lives,” he said. “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.”

As justification, he pointed to the fact that there’s no evidence anybody in the local community has actually complained about the football team’s prayers. Rather, the “complaint” seems to originate with FFRF, a group based out of Madison, Wisconsin.

In a statement to FNC, school district Superintendent Dr. Matt Robinson confirmed the claim about there being no official local complaints but admitted that he’s launched an investigation anyway.

“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,” he said.

“The District takes concerns of violations of policy seriously, and will take action with regard to any findings from this investigation as appropriate.”

How do locals feel about this matter? The locals whom Kansas City station WDAF spoke with argued the voluntary praying was completely harmless.

“I don’t believe in pushing everybody’s beliefs on each other. But if they want to pray and the students are good with it, then why not?” local resident Morgan Gitthens said.

“It’s sad that they’re coming down on [the coaches] because Cameron hasn’t had a good team in a few years. I think [they’re] building character among the boys,” fellow local Tim Harrell added.


(Source: WDAF)

“We have a lot of trouble with young people these days, and I think anything we can do positive, instead of negative, will influence and help our young people,” Harrell continued.

In fact, it even helped him.

“Harrell’s son played football at Cameron High before graduating in 2015. Harrell was also an athlete and recalled praying with his teams before games in his younger years. … Harrell said the leadership he saw from his coaches is one of the reasons he became a pastor, a role he’s held for 35 years,” WDAF reported.

He noted though that the prayer was always voluntary.

“The way I’ve seen it done in sports is you allow the kid to pray on beliefs that are personal to them,” he explained.

Jeff Speer, a father of two players on the team, confirmed to station KCTV that, as it stands, every kid on the team has thus far shown a desire to participate.

“If it were a situation where a coach or even another student said, ‘Get over here and pray,’ and that kid didn’t want to be a part of it, I understand,” he said. “But they all want to be a part of it.”

“They just say, ‘Okay, everybody bow your heads,’ and they have a moment of silence and everyone does their own individual prayer. Other teams join. We’ve had almost every team we play this year come out, join on their own.”

The “case” against Cameron is just one of many being pursued by the FFRF, which in recent years has been obsessed with shutting down any religious activities and speech that occur on public grounds:


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