High school football coach apologies for leading team in prayer

Rockvale coach Rick Rice greets officials prior to the team's first home game. (Photo: Brent Milam / For The DNJ

The national nonprofit, Freedom from Religion Foundation, has filed a complaint in Tennessee against Rockvale High School football coach Rick Rice for leading the players in a prayer last month after the game.

FFRF’s mission, as per their website, is to protect the separation of state and church.

The nonprofit filed the complaint on September 20th with the Rutherford County Board of Education, calling Rice’s actions a constitutional violation. An attorney for the board of education stated that the district had not yet been notified of the organization’s complaint.

In a video provided to The Daily News Journal, Coach Rice apologized for the prayer. “I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful to other religions,” he said. “It was just something I got used to in Wayne County, and nothing was ever said. It’s not OK today, but I’m old-school and guess I just forgot about it being such a sensitive issue in this day and time.”

The Supreme Court has time and again struck down prayers sponsored by public schools. In 1990, the court declared it unconstitutional for a public school employee to participate in student-led prayers or other religious activities.


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