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Judge recommends dismissal of pregame prayer lawsuit

February 10, 2017 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
A federal judge in Florida is recommending the dismissal of a lawsuit against the state athletic association over a pregame prayer during the 2015 football state championship.

Cambridge Christian School in Tampa filed the lawsuit against the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) after it was not allowed to conduct a pregame prayer over the stadium’s loudspeaker. The school claimed the FHSAA violated state and U.S. Constitutions.

The magistrate judge disagrees, recommending dismissal of the lawsuit based on the fact that teams were allowed to pray — just not over the stadium loudspeaker. 

From WUSF News:

Jeremy Dys, a lawyer for the private school, says the report doesn’t mean the matter is settled. 

“We’re preparing right now our objections and responses to that recommendation by the magistrate,” he said. “And then it’ll take some time for the district court judge to evaluate that and to determine what the court is ultimately going to do.”

The Supreme Court determined in 2000 — Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe — that student-led prayer at football games is a violation of the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment. Schools have largely steered clear of prayer at any school-sanctioned event to avoid legal trouble.

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