holy bible on school desk
Over 100 students staged a walkout after an optional religious assembly turned out to be mandatory.

More than 100 students at a West Virginia high school staged a walkout after an optional evangelical revival assembly turned out, they say, not to be so optional after all. 

The incident occurred at Huntington High School, where a traveling evangelist named Nik Walker gathered students together during a study break. Walker prayed with students, encouraged them to visit his church to get baptized, and allegedly told them that if they don’t give their lives over to Jesus Christ, they’ll be sent straight to hell when they die.

And while the event was intended to be voluntary, two teachers brought their entire classrooms to the assembly, forcing dozens of students to take part in a Christian ceremony they never wanted to attend.

Over 100 students in the Huntington district staged a walkout in response, chanting “Separate the church and state" in protest.

A Not So Optional Assembly

One of the students who attended the assembly against his will, an unnamed Jewish student, asked his teacher if he could leave. According to the student’s mother, Bethany Felinton, the teacher said that students shouldn’t leave because their classroom door was locked, and she recalled that her son felt he should stay at the assembly, lest he disobey his teacher.

During the assembly, another student there against his will, Cameron Mays, texted his father to ask if the Christian revival on school grounds was even legal.

It’s clear that at least some of the students at the assembly were uncomfortable with how cozy the school district is with evangelical Christianity, and that some of them felt they were coerced into attending against their will. 

The school district claims the teachers were reprimanded appropriately and that this sort of thing won’t happen again, but some students aren’t buying it – and they’re making that very well known.

Protesting Religion in Schools

Students carried homemade signs and chanted “Separate the church and state” and “My faith, my choice.” One student, Max Nibell, drafted a petition that he intends to present to the Cabell County Board of Education.

He’s calling for the school board to apologize to the affected students and their families, strong disciplinary action against the teachers involved, and for an official school board policy on what religious events and speakers are allowed on school grounds.

At least some of the students, however, welcomed the school revival.

Advertising Baptism

During the assembly, Walker encouraged students to bring their families to Christ Temple Church to be baptized. And according to him, more than 200 students did so.

Walker says he just wanted to address a “hopelessness” he saw in the Huntington community. He only intended to stay three days, he says, but it quickly became clear to him that the area – struggling with addiction – was in need of salvation.

He pointed out that he didn’t reach out to the school; they reached out to him.

What do you think? Is this a flagrant violation of the separation of church and state, or is there actually some context in which a religious leader should be in a school proselytizing?

84 comments

  1. Jack Gerber's Avatar Jack Gerber

    This is outrageous. I am an ordained minister myself although not Christian and I would NEVER allow a public school to force students into some religious education.

    1. Robert Wilson's Avatar Robert Wilson

      I am ordained also. This is so wrong.

    2. James Grainger's Avatar James Grainger

      School is for learning to Read, Write, Math, History, ETC; things kids need to know to navigate thru life. Church is for learning religion, to comfort ones soul

      1. Deborah Jean Frankum Perkins's Avatar Deborah Jean Frankum Perkins

        You took the words outta my mouth!

    3. Robert Wilson's Avatar Robert Wilson

      I am ordained also. This is so wrong.

  1. Charles Jude Platt's Avatar Charles Jude Platt

    These "fundamental" Christians believe in proselytizing everyone. They are sick. They only believe in the American Constitution when or if it suits them. If there is a place called "Hell," I hope they enjoy their trip.

    The kids who participated in the walkout, should be commended. Good for them.

  1. Nicholas J Page's Avatar Nicholas J Page

    What's happening in America.Surely that is illegal on both sides.Locking classroom doors I would bust the doors down.No body on this earth should be forced to do anything.People nowadays should be given the opportunity to choose if they want to participate in Religious studies not forced.Not every body is into religion.

  1. Douglas R. Reynolds's Avatar Douglas R. Reynolds

    Before I begin, i went to Lutheran grade school and Lutheran high school. With that said, I don't believe religion belongs in public school other than to learn about or understand different world religions and cultures. If you want your kids to learn a religion, have prayer, Bible study ect...then send them to a parochial school.

    1. Rev. Rory's Avatar Rev. Rory

      Exactly. Learn about world religions and cultures. It's part of history. No preaching allowed in a public school!

  1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

    It's stunts like this one that make young people want to not have anything to do with the Christian religion.

    Good for those students for knowing the law. Let's hope they do go to his church on Sunday, Not to get baptized, but to exercise their right to burn legally Bibles.

    1. Judy Joy Lehrman's Avatar Judy Joy Lehrman

      I agree with the first part. Not the last part. No book burning is ever good. And extremes of emotion over religion causes only unbalance and discord. Always violates someone.

  1. James Bullard's Avatar James Bullard

    Religion does not belong in our public school system, at all. Those who are attracted to religion can go to church. It should not be forced on anyone.

  1. Robert Clay Wilcox's Avatar Robert Clay Wilcox

    Looks like Theocracy is alive and well in West "By God" Virginia! And hells bells, you can go right down I-64 a little piece and handle some rattle snakes and copper heads while worshipping with snake handlers, Uh, no do not Take me Home Country Roads!

    1. Judy Joy Lehrman's Avatar Judy Joy Lehrman

      Agree and laughing! Good one!

  1. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

    I think it is a wise thing to learn and understand the different religions in this world if for no other reason than to break down the walls of misinformation. However I also believe it's difficult for it to be taught fairly without the teacher taking sides and condemning any religion outside of their own. For that reason I think it would be far more prudent to just not have religion in elementary level education at all.

  1. Richard Lee Cornell's Avatar Richard Lee Cornell

    Satan! Satan! Shouts the students.

    1. Judy Joy Lehrman's Avatar Judy Joy Lehrman

      Kids are so impressionable! So easily influenced! A dark path into real-life nightmare reality is like heroin and hell on earth.You don't have to due to experience hell. So hard to find a way back to a better way! I call angels when I see darkness like that, and let angels deal with it. They are stronger and know so much more than we do! May they find each person being led that direction!

    2. Judy Joy Lehrman's Avatar Judy Joy Lehrman

      Kids are so impressionable! So easily influenced! A dark path into real-life nightmare reality is like heroin and hell on earth.You don't have to due to experience hell. So hard to find a way back to a better way! I call angels when I see darkness like that, and let angels deal with it. They are stronger and know so much more than we do! May they find each person being led that direction.

  1. Rev Ned's Avatar Rev Ned

    Does this preacher’s favorite hymn go, “🎼 Jesus loves me, but he can’t stand you.”?

  1. Robert Chokonen Anthony Van Fleet's Avatar Robert Chokonen Anthony Van Fleet

    There is a place and time for everything, that being said the sole reason for the Pilgrims coming to this continent was to avoid such things that are being forced upon the Children, public schools are not the place to lean about spirituality of any denomination, if children are curious let their parents take them to the appropriate places to learn from the appropriate people.

  1. Alexander Clarke's Avatar Alexander Clarke

    If religious zealots were allowed to rule, like the Christians want to, it would be like living under the Taliban. Teaching about religion is one thing, teaching religion is another.

    1. Daniel Joseph Morse's Avatar Daniel Joseph Morse

      Twenty years ago my older Baptist brother seriously told me "the USA needs a religious government". We were moaning about the increased lawlessness and seeming breakdown of social customs since the 1950's. I asked him "oh really, which one?" . He didn't have an answer.

      I don't either.

      I do think "prison" a cruel and inhumane imprisonment. My answer is "take them out and kill them, each and every one." If they are adjudged incapable of living with their fellows in reasonable society, then just kill them. It costs too much to jail them, they won't be reformed and "life isn't precious" as evidenced by their own actions..

  1. Joseph A Chonko's Avatar Joseph A Chonko

    No amount of this was right. The school should have had an option for students that were not interested, and teachers should have allowed students to leave if they felt that this was not for them. Finding your path for religion is a journey. There are many paths to take, and should be explored outside of school.

  1. gerrydiamond's Avatar gerrydiamond

    Religious Education is a compulsory part of education in England, students are obliged to attend school assembly.

    1. taycomama's Avatar taycomama

      When my mother attended the Manchester High School for Girls, England, the and school prayers every day. The Jewish girls had them in a separate room from the CofE. Beyond that, religious education was left to their synagogues, churches and families.

      I went to Pittsburgh Public Schools in the 1950s--60s. State law required daily reading of 10 verses of the King James Bible, recitation of the Lord' prayer, and the pledge of allegiance. I was Jewish and still an English citizen when "under God" was added to the pledge, and graduated from high school a year before the prayers were eliminated. I learned recently that parents could opt out of these little prayer meetings, but apparently no one informed the parents. The Jewish majority in my schools just bowed our heads and pretended to pray along with the others. There was no other religious education offered.

      I would favour some basic education in comparative religions if I really believed Christian proselytizing could be kept out of it.

      1. Rev. Rory's Avatar Rev. Rory

        Agree. Basic education, yes. Proselytizing, no.

    2. Colleen McAllister's Avatar Colleen McAllister

      We founded this country to escape English rule. Not having a state established religion was a big part of that. As an Evangelical Christian I believe that faith should be taught at home or in a religious setting. Public School is not that place.

    3. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

      This isnt England

      1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

        You're bloody well right about that, Daniel.

    4. Tigerlily's Avatar Tigerlily

      This in the USA. It not right. They should have been able to sit in the hallway. I have seen teacher. in West Virginia get fired for praying in front of students. Here they should have been able to go somewhere else. It's illegal.

      1. Asa William Sprague, II's Avatar Asa William Sprague, II

        Really? Sit in the hallway?

        So a teacher would say: "All you 'non-christians' can now go sit in the hallway."

        Uhm, That doesn't sound very American either.

        1. Marilee Pearl Hill's Avatar Marilee Pearl Hill

          Yes, sit in the hallway and read or do extra credit work...in the 1980s that is how it was done...we had a few student that when the Pledge of Allegiance was read they were allowed to leave the classroom because of their family belief...I remember a Father came to class, he explained why our classmate went into the hall and that was that...however it was his parents decision to raise their child this way...the school knew and acted accordingly...the student could not just tell the Teacher, I don't want to do this, like students today.

      2. Rev. Rory's Avatar Rev. Rory

        They should not need to sit in the hallway. Preaching in public schools should not happen. As far as the pledge goes, there is also no reason to leave the room. The students (JW) always just sat and did not participate for the 30 seconds that it takes to say the pledge.

  1. CB Cuff's Avatar CB Cuff

    Board of Education or Board of brainwashing? So much for teaching equality to the students and their families! So much for 'the land of the free'.

  1. Maximillian Martin's Avatar Maximillian Martin

    Good!! No one, especially schools or government, should force their religion on anyone!! If I had kids and this happened, I'd be suing the school and finding a different one for them to go to.

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    Ok for the ones who just dont seem to get it, there IS NO SUCH THING as separation of church and state NOR is it in the Constitution. The Constitution was ratified in 1787, the very FIRST mention of this myth was in 1802 in a letter from Jefferson to his Baptist detractors. That means the very FIRST time this was mentioned was 15 years AFTER the Constitution was ratified. And what that means for the ones who are ignorant of US History, the ONLY way for this to be included in the Constitution is by a constitutional amendment. And I have 1000. for the first one who can show this was brought before Congress and passed and then sent out to the states to be ratified. I wont worry about losing as it cant be done. And please dont try that illegal SCOTUS decision where they stopped prayer in the school as not even the SCOTUS can make a right that does not exist in the Constitution nor can they "interpret" something as being in the constitution that isnt there and never has been there. That is not part of their authority under Article 3 of the Constitution and never has been.

    Now in saying this, the two teachers who forced the students to go to this should be disciplined as they dont have the authority to force them to stay when this is voluntary. They could have sent them to study hall or sent them to the school library or placed them in the lunch room under supervision, or at the very least given them that option. Since they failed in their duties as teachers they should be disciplined or at the very least they should be made to explain just how they forced the students to attend this, and then disciplined for it.

    1. Tom's Avatar Tom

      The First Amendment states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." which prevents the government "from both promoting one religion over others and also restricting an individual’s religious practices" to quote Cornell Law School. As later written by Jefferson, this aspect of the First Amendment provides for a separation between church and state. SCOTUS (and judges in general) are tasked with interpreting the constitution and the founding father's intent when writing it and applying that to the laws passed by Congress.

      The Second Amendment doesn't specifically say, "all Americans can own guns" but, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." This has largely been interpreted by SCOTUS and our courts as an individual's right to own guns as opposed to the State's right to maintain formal, organized militia units.

      Just as SCOTUS has interpreted the Second Amendment as the right for Americans to own guns, they have interpreted the First Amendment as defining the separation between church and state.

      1. Rev. Rory's Avatar Rev. Rory

        Tom, you are a smart guy. Thanks for the comment. Excellent analogy.

    2. Asa William Sprague, II's Avatar Asa William Sprague, II

      I would speculate that most people think the very first phrase of the 1st Ammendment to the Constitution of the United States (ie: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...") clearly defines a seperation between Church and State.

      I suppose those words do seem kind of vague by today's standards, but that is what the courts are for: to define the intent and then restrain lawmaking and law enforcement accordingly.

      Regardless of all that, at issue is the fact that some parents don't like the idea of their children being proselitized during compulsory attendance at a tax-payer funded public school.

      1. Gary Neil Soules's Avatar Gary Neil Soules

        I remember spelling "separate" wrong on a 4th grade spelling test. It's bothered me for 66 years . Remember : se-par(eing knife)ate.I guess I was busy learning The Lord's Prayer.

    3. Ernest Sadaharu Marumoto's Avatar Ernest Sadaharu Marumoto

      Isn’t the separation of church and state at least implied by the freedom religion amendment? Bill of Rights which is a part of the US Constitution.

    4. Gary Stephen Lowden's Avatar Gary Stephen Lowden

      And I suggest that you take the time to read the correspondence of the Founding Fathers. Many were not Christians but Diest's. The correspondence makes clear that none of them favored a state religion and many were not for organized religion and many felt that there should be a separation between the state and religion. Thomas Jefferson coined the phrase in his response to a Baptist congregation.

  1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

    That’s the dictatorship, and religious blackmail of an impending Hell, that churches have over people to keep them toeing the line.

    🦁❤️

  1. Minister Carlos Ricardo Walls's Avatar Minister Carlos Ricardo Walls

    Was there ever anything sacred?

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      May I ask what your interpretation of sacred is?

      🦁❤️

    2. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      Only to those who place value in it, Carlos.

  1. Minister Carlos Ricardo Walls's Avatar Minister Carlos Ricardo Walls

    Comment removed by user.

  1. Geoffrey C. Olive's Avatar Geoffrey C. Olive

    I had to attend daily assembly in my public high school (not a church school) in London, England where Xtian hymns were sung and prayers recited. This was in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Although not openly atheist, I found this abhorrent to my principles. I discovered that a separate Catholic assembly was held in a classroom. I claimed that I was Catholic as I think my dad’s family were of that persuasion. What a relief the change was. The assembly was run by a teacher who was Catholic but not a priest. No hymn singing, a quick Lord’s prayer and a few Hail Marys and 25 minutes of free time to finish homework or read while the rest of the school was getting proselytised! Although I escaped from the main assembly, everyone had religious education classes as it was the only mandatory subject required by the UK education authorities. I think it is still a requirement! Unfortunately I had to endure RE for the first three years until I could choose specific subjects.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    I attended Catholic elementary schools for six years, and Ofcourse we prayed, had religion class everyday, and sang Christian songs in our school choir. I'm surprised we didn't play religious songs in our school band. I didn't believe in much of it, but did it anyway, and don't think it hurt me to do so, but yearned to go to public school, where I would be free of all that anyway. So I couldn't have been happier than when they expelled me from both of those schools, and then said they'd never take me in another one again in my life! And we never were required to do anything religious in the public schools I went to. Religion was never even mentioned by our teachers, in the years I attended them, between 1974 and 1981, in Galveston, Texas. I assumed it was against the law. Isn't it? It sure seems like it ought to be. I'm very much surprised to hear that such a thing took place. I think the teachers who took part in it should be fired, and never allowed to teach in a public school again.

  1. Timothy Newell's Avatar Timothy Newell

    Christianity should never be force-fed,,,the behavior of some teachers was ludicrous, claiming the door to leave was locked. This should've been presented to students to attend on a voluntary basis. Those who are called to be saved and to repent will come. It can't be forced on anybody. It never was forced on me, as it took me three or four times to finally be saved myself. There are only two types of persons in this world now--saved and unsaved.

    1. Daniel Joseph Morse's Avatar Daniel Joseph Morse

      I will gladly join the "unsaved" portion of humanity. "For God so loved the world"....he created a dumping ground for people who didn't accept the words of venal old men offering their words as the words of God. Shucks. I live in this Universe - I don't need to be "saved" from anything excepting politicians and other lying shysters.

      Religion is all about power (control) and money. The day it can be proven that someone went to heaven or hell I'll take it seriously. Until then it's the maunderings of greedy rabble-rousers who can be labeled as too lazy to work and too scared to steal.

    2. ether_ore's Avatar ether_ore

      "There are only two types of persons in this world now--saved and unsaved."

      By whose definition? Yours? I do not know what sect or religion you claim, but if you claim to belong to the group of those "saved" on what basis do you make that claim? Because you align to your interpretation of some book written by bronze age men and carried forward from then to now? Regardless of whether your book or creed you are using as your divider between those "saved" and "unsaved," I assure you there are all sorts of other groups of people, looking at the same book, who count you on the other side of the line.

      Daniel Joseph Morse is correct, religion is all about power and control. It is just a stick or a carrot to keep the masses in line. Nothing can come from religion other than conflict since it's all about "us and them" to misappropreate a quote from Pink Floyd.

  1. The Right Reverend D. Batch's Avatar The Right Reverend D. Batch

    In my study of the Scriptures Jesus never twisted any ones arms to get them to believe. Besides Baptism does not save you.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      Correct, physically, but telling children of the impending doom of Hell thats awaiting them if they don't accept a personage as their savior not only breaks peoples spirits, but in some cases, causes them to live in perpetual fear, which is far greater than twisting anyones arm. Mental abuse, especially of children, is far greater than twisting anyones arms.

      The Very Reverend Lionheart 🦁♥️

  1. William Dusenberry's Avatar William Dusenberry

    Opinion, of a ULC bishop, with a DD, has been granted sainthood twice, and has four doctorates in a wide variety of subject areas, and who knows that the main reason why Christian funnymentalist MAGA’ers admire DJT, instead of Jesus, is due to the manner in which they succumbed to Christian mythology in the first place

    As Nietzsche famously stated “one is not converted to Christianity, one only needs to be sick enough to do so.”

    The USA allows all young children to be brainwashed — even though it is a serious type of child abuse to do so.

    We claim to have religious freedom, in the USA, even though any child brainwashed into Christianity (et al) is denied such freedom.

    To select a religion (as the need might be) one should have to reach the age of 18 — then read “The Savvy Converts Guide to Choosing a Religion” so that they can select the religious mythology that best meets their needs.

    As a self-identifying Secular Humanist Pantheist (SHP) I have a provable God (which is also nature) everything I like to do is good; while everything I don’t like to do is bad.

    Why everyone except other SHPers doesn’t become a SHPer, is only because they were brainwashed into some religious mythology or other, before they had the chance to read “The Savvy Converts Guide to Choosing a Religion” (which unfortunately doesn’t yet include SHP’ism).

    SHP’ism is best suited for shepherds, while definitely not for sheeple (MAGA’ers; rabble, GOP’ers without a pot to piss in, etc).

    We lie to our public schoolers, when we brainwash them to believe that the USA has freedom of religion.

  1. Daniel Joseph Morse's Avatar Daniel Joseph Morse

    Did you get your Bishopric and D.D. at (defunct) K-Mart? I don't see such for sale at ULC, though I think it would be an amusing product to offer and hope it will be included in inventory.

    I take offense at your words "everything I like to do is good; while everything I don’t like to do is bad". That would not create an attitude of cooperation or kindness on my part.

    1. Rev. Rory's Avatar Rev. Rory

      Actually, it is for sale. It cost $19.99. https://www.themonastery.org/catalog/honorary-divinity-degree

      There is a very long list of titles for sale.

    2. Rev. Rory's Avatar Rev. Rory

      $19.99. Yes, they sell the degree and title.

  1. Guy E. Sanders Jr's Avatar Guy E. Sanders Jr

    Unless this is a parochial school and religious teaching is part of the curriculum it is a clear violation of the separation of church and state. Besides that, all Christian denominations are not the same. There are differences between Jehovah's witnesses and Catholics and Seventh Day Adventists, etc. The religious training of children is the purview of their parents and they shouldn't be forced to be preached to by any secular school.

  1. Dorothy E. Cogswell's Avatar Dorothy E. Cogswell

    This is nazism

  1. John W. Stemmons Jr.'s Avatar John W. Stemmons Jr.

    School is for schooling our children in the fundamentals of secular world wide economical things needed to adapt to the world of things. Churching or preaching is to be taught at home and that individuals congregation of which they belong. Of course I pray that all could be under the understanding of our heavenly father. But that situation is left in his hands I can only teach what I know in my heart is true! He is and will always be faithful to tend to his lambs of which I am of that fold. But one thing his is not, and that's Forced! May He aid those Lost to the System of this world's counter view. Amen

  1. John W. Stemmons Jr.'s Avatar John W. Stemmons Jr.

    School is for schooling our children in the fundamentals of secular world wide economical things needed to adapt to the world of things. Churching or preaching is to be taught at home and that individuals congregation of which they belong. Of course I pray that all could be under the understanding of our heavenly father. But that situation is left in his hands I can only teach what I know in my heart is true! He is and will always be faithful to tend to his lambs of which I am of that fold. But one thing his is not, and that's Forced! May He aid those Lost to the System of this world's counter view. Amen

  1. Cheryl Pettijohn's Avatar Cheryl Pettijohn

    Requiring your students to go was inappropriate. If the teachers were reprimanded, the school needs to share what was done to reprimand them. The teachers also need to publicly apologize to their students and parents. Having a religious person at school doesn't bother me, as long as multiple religions are represented and attendance is optional.

  1. Ronaldo's Avatar Ronaldo

    This line from the article states "Walker prayed with students, encouraged them to visit his church to get baptized, and allegedly told them that if they don’t give their lives over to Jesus Christ, they’ll be sent straight to hell when they die." The first thing I noticed here is that Walker did not 'allegedly' pray with students, nor did he 'allegedly' encourage them to visit his church, but when it came to giving their lives to Jesus, no one seems to know what he actually said, but only what he 'allegedly' said. This tells me that the author knows the first two things are real but has no proof of the third.
    The only 'religion' that should be mandatory in public schools is science. I know, many realize that science is not a religion, but I've met quite a few 'religious' people who deny it, and consider it a faith of its own, with deluded followers that don't believe in the "Truth of Christ". On the other hand, I know those who blindly follow anything a 'scientist' says, while ignoring the whole science principle that says to understand and believe in just the facts. Science is not a religion, but a way of seeing reality based on real evidence, whereas religion requires faith in evidence that cannot be seen or touched. Both are real, and they are not mutually exclusive if you look at both concepts correctly.

  1. Steven Alan Friedenthal's Avatar Steven Alan Friedenthal

    Forcing someone, however impressionable, to attend religious services is tyranny and colonialism.

  1. Michael Barton's Avatar Michael Barton

    They shouldn't be forced, and that's a mistake the teachers made. If they apologized, then that's the best you get. If they do it again, then be mad. But until then, give peace a chance.

  1. Robert N Clarkson's Avatar Robert N Clarkson

    If the story is accurate it was a couple of teachers, not the school. Schools should be a non threatening forum of diverse opinions and belief in addition to teaching basic educational skills. Unfortunately modern education in the US has become one sided propagandizing and suppressing any freedom of thought. I was a teacher in the public schools for over 10 years.

  1. Laura Perez's Avatar Laura Perez

    As an ordained minister, and also a parent to a school aged student, this is not acceptable. School is not a place of worship.

  1. Tabitha's Avatar Tabitha

    Gilead is coming. We're all doomed

  1. Rev. Rory's Avatar Rev. Rory

    I'm ordained and taught in both a religious school and public schools. As an educator, I believe children (in public schools) should learn ABOUT religions of the world, not be TAUGHT religion (or threatened with Hell.)

    How many people in the country and in the world follow each religion? Who were the founders? Are there people that don't follow a religion? Where do people gather for their religious services? What are the special days or holidays? Just the facts and an understanding that there are billions of people in the world, and that people practice religion in different ways. The end.

    I never taught at a school where a speaker could just be invited by staff and hold a class without approval by the administration. I've also been a guest speaker (not religious subjects) hundreds of times. I always attended by invitation, with approval, and usually had to submit a lesson plan in advance.

    Based on my own experiences, I can't imagine how the organizers of this Evangelical get together pulled this off without someone knowing what was going on.

  1. Diane Minna LaFave's Avatar Diane Minna LaFave

    The pledge of allegiance [ with the word " GOD " intact ] and a moment of silence for prayer should be done in all schools. BUT , forcing students to attend a religious event is against their Constitutional Rights. If there is an event of this nature than parental permission must be given .

  1. Michele Savaunah Zirkle's Avatar Michele Savaunah Zirkle

    I was a high school teacher in West Virginia one County away from Cabell County for over 20 years. There were often Christian services offered at noon from various churches in the community, but the services were optional for students to attend at lunch. Students should not be made to attend any specific religious service, but these should be offered as options. Students who do not wish to attend these should have other locations where they could participate in alternative activities or help with academics. This was the procedure in all the school districts I attended in West Virginia over my many years as a public schoolteacher.

    Another issue closely related to this is the practice of saying a prayer before a ball game. At one point we did not say a prayer before the ball game on the loudspeaker but the team or various parents could lead a prayer impromptu. I noticed this especially at football games which were held outside. Eventually a moment of silence took place in place of the prayer. This fluctuated for many years but did not become problematic because no one was being forced to do anything.

    1. Judy Joy Lehrman's Avatar Judy Joy Lehrman

      Praying for one team to win seems definitely ludicrous and maybe even kinda unfair, if God did ever do such a thing,which is just plain never going to happen over sports. To pray for no injuries, like in a car race, Ok. Fair. Still, it is also flaunting to do so in a crowd. Ego isn't needed, flaunting religion isn't either.Talking to God needs to usually be only you and God, except maybe at funerals and blessings for marriage and such. Or a group of people of that religion. Like at church or temple. I dont need to show anyone how religious I am.

  1. Maurice Slaunwhite's Avatar Maurice Slaunwhite

    In the Bible religion is mention twice in the first chapter of James at the last two verses. The Lord God himself said Religion

    can be if it is a good religion. God belongs in any school as long as it is a good Religion. You see it is just that religion it self is not allowed in the schools but God himself must be allowed to be in schools because He is the one who planted all the rules and laws that we the people go by world wide and that includes The Ten Commandments. God bless you all.

  1. Judy Joy Lehrman's Avatar Judy Joy Lehrman

    Because it does cause discrimination of all types & does violate some people one way or another, religion has NO place in schools or any other general public or government thing. Religion is a personal thing. Just too emotional to be bandied about, causing far too much upheaval of emotion. If done correctly, could be taught only as Comparative Religion, as in college, but I seriously doubt it would be taught fairly and truly factual only. I do wish I had been given such a class when younger. But it takes a very special person to teach it without it being slanted toward their choices. I wouldn't want to even witness a class discussion, though. But it would definitely belong at The Monestery! :) Any chance that could happen someday?

  1. Judy Joy Lehrman's Avatar Judy Joy Lehrman

    Because it does cause discrimination of all types & does violate some people one way or another, religion has NO place in schools or any other general public or government thing. Religion is a personal thing. Just too emotional to be bandied about, causing far too much upheaval of emotion. If done correctly, could be taught only as Comparative Religion, as in college, but I seriously doubt it would be taught fairly and truly factual only. I do wish I had been given such a class when younger. But it takes a very special person to teach it without it being slanted toward their choices. I wouldn't want to even witness a class discussion, though. But it would definitely belong at The Monestery! :) Any chance that could happen someday?

  1. Ernest John Salathe's Avatar Ernest John Salathe

    Minister ERNEST SALATHE I believe everybody should have the choice this country was built on the Constitution nobody should have anything thrown down the throat I've had a lot of trouble in lifetime's with churches 4th grade us kicked out of the Catholic church I was a demon because my dad was a Lutheran my mother was Catholic there was nothing because of me salute the kids that locked out they had the right you cannot enforce religion down anybody it's their choice I strongly believe the separation between church and state I salute the kids that stayed that was their choice the kids are didn't want to go should not have been forced to go parents need to really look into this deep and see what's going on in that school thank you.

  1. Minister William Jackson's Avatar Minister William Jackson

    We should not push any religion on anybody also grow up kids If you don't like that thing should of been handled a different way. But . We don't know everything . We're human we all make mistakes. But yet we should keep religion to the school that teaches you know the people want to have the Bible in any school should be allowed and they want to pray button but not force it on others , which is up to them.

  1. Minister William Jackson's Avatar Minister William Jackson

    We should not push any religion on anybody also grow up kids If you don't like that thing should of been handled a different way. But . We don't know everything . We're human we all make mistakes. But yet we should keep religion to the school that teaches you know the people want to have the Bible in any school should be allowed and they want to pray button but not force it on others , which is up to them.

  1. Minister William Jackson's Avatar Minister William Jackson

    We should not push any religion on anybody also grow up kids If you don't like that thing should of been handled a different way. But . We don't know everything . We're human we all make mistakes. But yet we should keep religion to the school that teaches you know the people want to have the Bible in any school should be allowed and they want to pray button but not force it on others , which is up to them.

  1. Minister William Jackson's Avatar Minister William Jackson

    We should not push any religion on anybody also grow up kids If you don't like that thing should of been handled a different way. But . We don't know everything . We're human we all make mistakes. But yet we should keep religion to the school that teaches you know the people want to have the Bible in any school should be allowed and they want to pray button but not force it on others , which is up to them.

  1. Minister William Jackson's Avatar Minister William Jackson

    We should not push any religion on anybody also grow up kids If you don't like that thing should of been handled a different way. But . We don't know everything . We're human we all make mistakes. But yet we should keep religion to the school that teaches you know the people want to have the Bible in any school should be allowed and they want to pray button but not force it on others , which is up to them.

  1. Minister William Jackson's Avatar Minister William Jackson

    We should not push any religion on anybody also grow up kids If you don't like that thing should of been handled a different way. But . We don't know everything . We're human we all make mistakes. But yet we should keep religion to the school that teaches you know the people want to have the Bible in any school should be allowed and they want to pray button but not force it on others , which is up to them.

  1. Rev Dr N's Avatar Rev Dr N

    I am ordained. Our role is not to force anyone in to our belief, we are there are vessels of God, as a voice, as someone who will listen and guide other should! they want this. God gave everyone freedom of choice and will and to force others in to anything, then you are taking away the persons freedoms and going against God by forcing the person to listen to the messages of God, one would be doing the exact opposite! of what God wants. Yes there should be a Christian Assembly and religious education classes but! only for those that want to attend.

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