Tampa, Fla. – Cambridge Christian School today filed a federal lawsuit in Tampa against the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) for violating the school’s constitutional rights. Cambridge Christian says the FHSAA refused to allow the school to offer a prayer over the loudspeaker before the Division 2A state championship football game in December 2015.
Read the lawsuit here.
In the lawsuit, Cambridge Christian seeks to bring the FHSAA’s existing policies in line with freedom of speech and free exercise of religion rights guaranteed by the U.S. and Florida Constitutions.
“This is a case about the restriction of a Christian school’s private speech through a policy and practice that discriminates between religious and secular speech,” said Adam Foslid, an attorney at Greenberg Traurig, who along with attorney Eliot Pedrosa, is acting as counsel to the school. “The Constitution requires a government policy of neutrality toward private religious speech – one that neither endorses nor censors such speech.”
“This is a clear case of governmental interference in a private school’s right to exercise its religious freedom,” said Jeremy Dys, Senior Counsel for First Liberty Institute, the largest legal organization in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to protecting the religious freedoms of all Americans. “Pre-game prayer is not only a long-standing tradition for Cambridge Christian; it is fundamental to its reason for being.”
Tim Euler, head of Cambridge Christian, said prohibiting pre-game prayer sends the wrong message to his students. “By banning us from praying over the loudspeaker, the FHSAA told our students that prayer is something bad and should be forbidden,” Euler said. “We want our students to know that prayer is good and a fundamental constitutional right that should be defended.”
Read more about the case at FirstLiberty.org/Cambridge
About First Liberty Institute
First Liberty Institute is the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.