A couple of days ago, I posted about the baseball dynasty at Owasso High School in Oklahoma.
Their coach Larry Turner had led the team to multiple state titles and a perfect season last year. But a profile of Turner in a local newspaper shed light on a troubling aspect of his leadership:
Turner and his coaching staff lead the players in prayer before games.
Say what now? That is undoubtedly illegal, coercing players to pray. No public school teacher should be doing that. Students are welcome to pray on their own, but their teachers and coaches can’t lead it. (Who knows how many non-Christians have been on Turner’s teams over the years? How many athletes didn’t want to participate in the prayers but stayed silent because they didn’t want to ruffle any feathers?)The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter about the problem to district Superintendent Clark Ogilvie a few days ago and, just like that, a lawyer for the district has responded:
This is to advise you that I have been directed by Superintendent Ogilvie to advise you that the Owasso School District will not allow any District employees to participate with any District students in any prayer or other religious activities in connection with any school-sponsored events.
Sounds like a resolution to me. Good on the district for the quick response.
But remember: This is Oklahoma. Christians there will almost certainly jump to the conclusion that their rights have somehow been taken away even though that’s not the case at all.