ABERDEEN, S.D. – Aberdeen Central High School has ended coach-led prayers before football games after a complaint was filed with a Wisconsin-based nonprofit that represents atheists and agnostics.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to the school saying the prayers violated the U.S. Constitution and asked for the practice to end, attorney Patrick Elliot told KSFY-TV.
Players are still being allowed to pray before games, but coaches are not being allowed to join them.
"At no time were students ever forced to participate," Superintendent Becky Guffin said. "We have made the necessary changes, and we have moved forward."
Local pastor Bob Myers said he thinks the rights of coaches are now being violated.
"I think it is appropriate for coaches to join students in their prayer. After all they are a team, and the coach is part of a team. He is part of that community," Myers said. "I think as long as students initiate it, the coach has every right to express himself in that same way."