ICC Note: The Freedom From Religion Foundation recently issued a letter of complaint to an Ohio school district’s superintendent after learning about a Bible study that takes place in one of the schools. The group suggested that the program, as led by a local pastor, is unconstitutional even though it is a voluntary meeting that takes place during the students’ lunch hour. It is not yet clear whether or not the school district intends to respond to the complaint.
03/17/2018 United States (Christian News Network) – One of the nation’s most conspicuous atheist activist groups is seeking to stop an Ohio pastor from holding a voluntary lunchtime Bible study for students at a local middle school.
The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) recently sent a letter to the superintendent of the Indian Creek School District to assert that it is unconstitutional for the district to allow Bobbyjon Bauman of the Valley Youth Network to offer the study during school hours at Indian Creek Middle School.
The group further called the pastor’s gospel presentations “predatory conduct.”
“It is unconstitutional for the district to offer religious leaders access to befriend and proselytize students during the school day on school property,” FFRF wrote. “This predatory conduct is inappropriate and should raise many red flags. The district cannot allow its schools to be used as recruiting grounds for churches during the school day.”
“When a school allows Church representatives to recruit students for the Church, it has unconstitutionally entangled itself with a religious message—in this case, a Christian message. This practice alienates those non-Christian students, teachers and members of the public whose religious beliefs are inconsistent with the message being endorsed by the school,” it asserted.
The Church-State separation group also contended that the fact that the Bible study is voluntary—that it is only attended by students who are interested—does not alleviate concerns.
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