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Naperville Schools Chief Bans Coach-Led Prayers After Atheist Group Complains

(CBS) – The superintendent of Naperville public schools says athletic coaches will no longer lead players in prayer, following a complaint from a group that challenged the practice.

A photograph posted by the Freedom from Religion Foundation showed Naperville Central High School Head Coach Mike Stine leading his kneeling players in prayer before a recent home game.

The foundation, representing atheists, complained the prayer violated the separation of church and state.

School District 203 Superintendent Dan Bridges reviewed the complaint and said the coach-led prayers will not be allowed at any school.

"Naperville 203 represents a diverse community that holds diverse beliefs and values. We recognize that in our roles as school leaders we respect those diverse beliefs and avoid putting students in situations that may conflict with their personal beliefs," Bridges said in a letter dated Thursday.

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