Remember the Arkansas school that suspended visits from local ministers with students during school lunches? Turns out the suspension was temporary. They’ve issued a new policy allowing such visits, with a couple new rules imposed on them if they do so.
The Conway school board approved recommended procedures Tuesday to make sure schools’ visitation practices are “neutral” for both religious and nonreligious visitors.
The change means youth ministers and others will be allowed back on school campuses in the coming weeks, superintendent Greg Murry said.
The move came after Liberty Institute, a nonprofit law firm that seeks to defend religious liberty in the public arena, released a report Thursday saying the school district’s policy of allowing non-student visitors during lunchtime is “neutral” and does not advance or inhibit religion…Changes include having visitors to the high school and junior high school maintain a list of each student with whom the visitor is affiliated. The principal of the school may exclude any visitor from engaging with students not on the visitor’s list. At elementary and middle schools, visitors may only have access to students whose parent or legal guardian has consented to the visit.
Principals can segregate visitors “if he or she deems” it important, Mateer said.
The school district is also seeking to take out bids for new screening equipment to do background checks on visitors, said K.K. Bradshaw, director of Administrative Services at the district.
But why do they need to be there at all? No other non-parent has access to students during the school day. It seems obvious to me that this is just a way of allowing ministers to have access to the schools.