Florida Judge Rules Against High School in Public Prayer Suit

By Mira Soni

This week, U.S. District Judge Charlene Honeywell ruled against a Christian high school who argued that the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) violated their First Amendment rights by not allowing a prayer to be said over the loudspeaker at a football championship game in 2015.

Cambridge Christian High School in Tampa, FL, filed a lawsuit against FHSAA in September. The school argued that by denying the school’s request for a pre-game prayer over the loudspeaker, FHSAA prohibited Cambridge Christian’s private religious speech and violated their rights under both the U.S. and Florida Constitutions, as well as the Florida Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

In her decision, Judge Honeywell upheld the recommendation of a magistrate judge, saying that, had FHSAA allowed Cambridge Christian to say a pre-game prayer over the loudspeaker, it would have been perceived as state endorsement of religion.

Additional Sources:

Judge Rules Against School on Football Game Prayer (WCTV)

Judge Rules Against School on Football Game Prayer (Panama City News Herald) 

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