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Atheists Protest High School Football Team Prayer in Georgia

For Immediate Release


Sarah Henry, (202) 238-9088,

(Washington, D.C., September 16, 2019) – The legal team at the American Humanist Association warned Griffin-Spalding School Systems this afternoon of their recent unconstitutional school prayer activity. 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.

As the warning letter states, the school’s activities demonstrate “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.”

The intrusion of religion in public schools is an ongoing concern as the religious right, led by campaigns like Project Blitz, seeks to impose its sectarian agenda across the country. The American Humanist Association works to protect the First Amendment in all public institutions and previously expressed alarm over new legislation in multiple states requiring the prominent display of “In God We Trust” in public schools.

“Not only did the school permit attempts to indoctrinate students, the school and the district publicly celebrated this constitutional violation on social media,” noted Monica Miller, American Humanist Association Legal Director and Senior Counsel.

The warning letter demands a response from the school district within two weeks.


The American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming worldview of humanism, which—without beliefs in gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

Special thanks to the Louis J. Appignani Foundation and the Herb Block Foundation for their support of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.

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