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Christian revival at school prompts student walkout in W.Va._q switch laser birthmark removal

2022-08-14 01:57:18 [] 来源:
LEAH WILLINGHAM·5 min read

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — Between calculus and European history classes at a West Virginia public high school, 16-year-old Cameron Mays and his classmates were told by their teacher to go to an evangelical Christian revival assembly.

When students arrived at the event in the school's auditorium, they were instructed to close their eyes and raise their arms in prayer, Mays said. The teens were asked to give their lives over to Jesus to find purpose and salvation. Those who did not follow the Bible would go to hell when they died, they were told.

The Huntington High School junior sent a text to his father.

“Is this legal?” he asked.

The answer, according to the U.S. Constitution, is no. In fact, the separation of church and state is one of the country’s founding basic tenets, noted Huntington High School senior Max Nibert.

“Just to see that defamed and ignored in such a blatant way, it’s disheartening,” he said.

Nibert and other Huntington students are planning to stage a walkout during homeroom period Wednesday to protest the assembly.

“I don’t think any kind of religious official should be hosted in a taxpayer-funded building with the express purpose of trying to convince minors to become baptized after school hours,” Nibert said.

The mini revival took place last week during COMPASS, a daily, “noninstructional” break in the schedule during which students can study for tests, work on college prep or listen to guest speakers, said Cabell County Schools spokesperson Jedd Flowers.

Flowers said the event was voluntary, organized by the school’s chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He said there was supposed to be a signup sheet for students, but two teachers mistakenly brought their entire class.

“It’s unfortunate that it happened,” Flowers said. "We don’t believe it will ever happen again.”

But in this community of fewer than 50,000 people in southwestern West Virginia, the controversy has ignited a broader conversation about whether religious services — voluntary or not — should be allowed during school hours at all. A group of parents, the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia and other organizations say the answer to this question is also no. They say such events are a clear violation of students’ civil rights.

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