Supreme Court Strikes School Prayer

June 21, 2000

In a crushing defeat for school-prayer supporters, the Supreme Court this week reaffirmed that praying in public schools must be private. By a 6-3 vote, the court barred officials from letting students lead stadium crowds in prayer before football games.

The court’s sweeping language in a Texas case could extend far beyond school sports events — eventually affecting graduation ceremonies, moments of silence and more.

The ruling said a school district’s policy of allowing such student-led prayers violated the constitutionally required separation of government and religion.


  • Will Harrell, Executive Director of the ACLU of Texas. They were the organization that spearheaded the case.