Monday, February 29, 2016

Ban Christians From Missouri Schools, Atheists Say

The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is demanding that Christian leaders be banned from several Missouri schools because a video at Hollister Middle School shows Robert Bruce, leader of a local Christian youth group called K-Life, joining student-led prayer in the cafeteria.
"It's not necessarily freedom from religion, but it's freedom of religion. . . . we are also not going to inhibit that religion."
-- Dr. Brian Wilson, Superintendent, Hollister R-V School District

"Our district received a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation in Madison, Wisconsin, asking us to investigate the possibility of policy violations, in regard to visitors discussing religion with students, in our schools. After speaking with the principals at the Junior High and High School, the schools in question, we found no evidence of any violation taking place between visitors and our students."
-- Dr. Brad Swofford, Superintendent, Branson Public Schools
For background, click headlines below to read previous articles:

Atheists Force Michigan Schools to Ban Christians

School Agrees with Atheists to Restrict Christians in West Virginia

Wisconsin Atheists Want Christians Out of Oklahoma Schools

Atheists Say Too Many Christians at Ohio School

Also read Let us Pray in School: It's the Law in Missouri
Click for TV news report
-- From "Hollister schools fear possible lawsuit over school prayer" by Drew Douglas, KYTV-TV3 (Springfield, MO) 2/24/16

"There's not been a parent of Hollister schools nor a student that has issued a complaint. However, we did receive a letter out of Madison Wisconsin," says [Supt.] Wilson.

The superintendent says Christian students at the school have been initiating prayers during lunch, and that day, the students asked Mr. Bruce to participate in the prayer.

The school investigated and chose to continue to allow Mr. Bruce on campus despite the letter's explicit demand that Bruce and other adult K-Life representatives be barred from entering the district schools during the school day.

"We've communicated with Mr. Bruce and to the K-Life organization just as we would any other organization. We would like for them to adhere to all school policies and regulations," says Wilson.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Organization claims area schools violating church-state separation" by Cliff Sain, Branson (Missouri) Tri-Lakes news 2/26/16

The Freedom From Religion Foundation issued a press release stating that a representative from area youth ministry KLIFE has been allowed access to students at the Branson, Hollister, Reeds Spring and Bradleyville school districts.

Hollister Superintendent Brian Wilson said the situation pointed out by the Freedom From Religion Foundation has already been handled.

“(The middle school students) were beginning to pray at lunch,” Wilson said. “They sat around a table. It wasn’t disruptive. It grew to multiple tables. The individual from K-Life was asked to pray at the beginning of one lunch period for that group. That was probably where he overstepped the lines. At no time was it promoted by us. At no time was it done by the school.”

“We addressed the situation with them. We went over the proceedings with them. That's where we’re are at. We think that it is at a moot point. We are not trying to promote, and we are not trying to inhibit. We have taken care of the issue. My job is to educate kids and give the kids at Hollister schools the best education that they can have.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Hollister schools told to halt organized prayer, restrict ministers' access to students" by Claudette Riley, USA TODAY Network - News-Leader (Springfield, MO) 2/25/16

At this point, the [FFRF] — which posted the video on its website — has not ruled out the possibility of taking legal action.

[Supt.] Wilson said students can exercise their First Amendment right to pray in school, if they want to, and the district has communicated the rules governing activities during the school day to KLIFE and other community visitors. But, the district will still permit visitors and student groups that want to meet before and after school.

In the letter, the Wisconsin-based foundation demanded Hollister put an end to "organized prayer" during lunch, discipline any employees that allow the prayers to take place and bar KLIFE representatives from visiting schools.

The foundation also wrote letters to the Branson and Reeds Spring districts, demanding each investigate the amount of access it provides to "predatory evangelists."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Judge Jesus Says 'Stop Praying' to California School

And read Christmas Holiday OUT, Lunar New Year IN: Public Schools