Alabama high school told to halt prayers before football games

A high school in Birmingham, Alabama accused of violating the First Amendment for broadcasting prayers before school football games may have to stop the practice after a religious freedom organization voiced concern.

The Hewitt-Trussville City School District received a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) this week requesting the district’s high school stop playing a prayer ahead of games because, according to the letter, “Public school events must be secular to protect the freedom of conscience of all students.”

FFRF received a complaint about the school’s prayers from a concerned parent, AL.com reported Wednesday.

The complaint specified that “prayer is broadcast over the loudspeaker before Hewitt-Trussville High School football games.”

The letter cited a 2000 Supreme Court ruling which “struck down prayers made over the loudspeaker at public school athletic events, even when they are student-initiated,” according to AL.com.

“It is illegal for a public school to sponsor religious messages at school athletic events. The Supreme Court has continually struck down school-sponsored prayer in public schools," the letter stated, according to the Trussville Patch.

FFRF reportedly requested the high school "take immediate action to end the practice of broadcasting prayer over the loudspeaker at football games."

The school district had reportedly not responded to the complaint.