An Alabama high school is facing resistance from the Freedom From Religion Foundation over its upcoming “Back to School Worship Service.”
According to an attorney from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the back to school worship service, which is set to take place inside the school’s gymnasium on August 4th, violates the separation of church and state.
Attorney Christopher Line sent a complaint letter to DeKalb County Schools District Superintendent Jason Barnett on Friday after a parent raised concerns about a Facebook post on the official Fyffe High School page advertising the event.
“Back to School Worship Service,” the image, shared on July 24, reads, “Please join us in praying for God’s protective hand to be over our schools, facilities, and students.”
Some people commented on the Facebook post in favor of the school holding the service.
“Stand your ground this is great! God Bless your school and students!” one person wrote.
“I love this. I wish every school would do it,” another added.
However the Freedom From Religion Foundation is taking issue with the fact that the “event is being organized and promoted by school faculty members,” a letter from the group reads in part.
“We write to ensure that DeKalb County Schools does not allow its employees to organize or participate in religious events while acting as district representatives,” the group’s letter reads.
“Organizing and promoting religious worship events unconstitutionally entangles school personnel with an exclusively religious – often exclusively Christian –message. Public school teachers and administrators may not lead, direct, or ask students to engage in prayer or otherwise endorse religion,” the letter read, going on to list multiple examples of the Supreme Court striking down teacher or school-led prayer in public schools.
“This religious promotion is not only problematic from a constitutional perspective, but is also a harmful assault on the students’ right of conscience,” FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor told AL.com. “DeKalb County Schools must direct its focus, time and resources toward educating its students, not proselytizing to them.”
What do you think about the event being held at the school gym?