A high school in Ohio finds itself under fire after coaches and players combined for a postgame prayer session, eventually attracting the attention of the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF).
As reported by the Richland Source, East Knox High School has been asked by the FFRF to investigate claims that East Knox head coach Cody Rees helped lead his team in prayer after winning the Ohio Division VI Region 22 championship game against Cary (Ohio) High School.
“A concerned district parent contacted FFRF to report that the football coaches at East Knox High School, including head coach Cody Reese, are participating in prayer circles with their students during football games …” read a letter, obtained by Knox Pages. “It is illegal for public school athletic coaches to lead their teams in prayer. The Supreme Court has continually struck down school-sponsored prayer in public schools.”
If found to have violated the code in question, East Knox could land itself in legal hot water. While the FFRF’s appeal for a formal investigation is likely just posturing to force East Knox to cease and desist, it didn’t have the desired impact at the first question of asking; despite the letter being postmarked and emailed to school officials on November 27, it didn’t stop the coaches from leading another post-victory prayer on Friday after the team fell to New Middletown Springfield in the state semifinals.
Now the spotlight is on when East Knox heads back to the field next fall.