This is no way to begin a school year:
There’s a reason good schools wouldn’t waste their time with a beginning-of-the-year worship service:
1) It’s illegal.
2) It undermines the staff. After all, if you need God’s “protective hand” to guide students through the year, it must mean the teachers and administrators are incapable of doing that themselves.
But we’re used to churches praying over local schools. That would be perfectly legal provided they did their rain dance without any outside help. But in this case, the school is actively promoting the worship event on Facebook. The event is being “organized and promoted by school faculty members.” That’s where it crosses the line.
“DeKalb County Schools should be particularly mindful of ostracizing non-Christians, given that over 47 percent of young Americans are non-Christian, either practicing a minority religion or no religion at all,” [FFRF Legal Fellow Christopher] Line writes. “Parents, not district administrators, have the right to dictate the religious or nonreligious upbringing of their children.”
FFRF is urging the district to make certain that its teachers and administrators are not unlawfully indoctrinating students in religious matters. Faculty may not, FFRF reminds the district, organize worship services within the district, and district resources may not be used to advertise religious events.
“This religious promotion is not only problematic from a constitutional perspective, but is also a harmful assault on the students’ right of conscience,” comments FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “DeKalb County Schools must direct its focus, time and resources toward educating its students, not proselytizing to them.”
Imagine how awful your school must be when, instead of hosting an event that brings together everyone in the community, it hosts a worship service to celebrate a God that would torture the non-Christian students for eternity.
This isn’t complicated. Public schools are not arms of any church. It doesn’t matter if there’s a Christian super-majority in the building; the school should not be a substitute church.
At the very least, someone needs to warn the students not to take an elective government class since it’s clear no one in the building has any idea how the law works.
(Thanks to Brian for then link)