Coach Wallace target of Freedom From Religion Foundation
The Cameron Dragon have faced many tough opponents, but their latest may come in a courtroom following a request by the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
Last Friday the Dragons discontinued their postgame tradition of Coach Jeff Wallace inviting fans, students and student-athletes to pray - this time opting for junior linebacker Camren Hedgpeth to lead the postgame ceremony - but it's unclear if the sudden change has any correlation with Monday's press release from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
The FFRF, whom has 400 Missouri members, claims their purpose is to protect the constitutional principle of separation between church and state, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism. The group claims, according to a press release circulated by the FFRF, Coach Jeff Wallace and Assistant Football Coach David Stucky have reportedly been holding religious “chapel” services for players before and after football games where coaches pray with players and read and discuss bible verses. After games, Wallace reportedly holds religious services with players on the 50-yard line and leads players in prayer. Wallace often brings in outside preachers to proselytize to players, as well. It is illegal for public school athletic coaches to lead their teams in religious prayer, FFRF points out to the district. The U.S. Supreme Court has continually struck down school-sponsored prayer in public schools as it constitutes government endorsement and advancement of religion, which violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
READ MORE IN THIS WEEK'S EDITION OF THE CAMERON CITIZEN-OBSERVER.