The American Humanist Association, a non-profit group that advocates for humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans, has accused the Griffin-Spalding School Systems in Georgia of hosting “unconstitutional school prayer activity” for student athletes, but the school district says the students have been leading their own prayer and they have a constitutional right to do so.
The group announced on Monday that their legal team sent a warning letter to Superintendent James Smith and Lindy Pruitt, principal of Spalding High School, stating a concerned parent informed them that the high school hosted a prayer breakfast and sermon for football players provided by Griffin First United Methodist Church.
“The Griffin First United Methodist Church hosted a breakfast and sermon for football players at Spalding High School, in clear violation of the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. The school softball coaches also lead the team in prayer before games,” the AHA said in a release this week.
In the letter sent to the school officials, the Monica L. Miller, legal director and senior counsel of the AHA, said they were informed that on Aug. 23, “the District permitted Griffin First United Methodist Church (‘Church’) to host a breakfast and sermon for SHS football players, at the school, ahead of a game scheduled for that evening. The District’s Facebook account re-posted a post from the Church promoting the event with the caption, ‘Thank you First United Method Church!’”
She argued that the move shows a “deep pattern of disregard for the Constitution, as well as strong favoritism toward Christianity within the District’s football and softball programs, creating a coercive atmosphere that is hostile to both non-Christians and Christians.”
“Not only did the school permit attempts to indoctrinate students, the school and the district publicly celebrated this constitutional violation on social media,” Miller noted.
A statement from Griffin-Spalding County School System to WSB-TV confirmed that they received the AHA’s letter but insist that no laws were broken. The Aug. 23 post referenced by the AHA on the district’s Facebook page is no longer publicly available.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair