Think back to the field trips you took when you were in high school — maybe you saw a production of a Shakespeare play or you went to a museum.
Now what if your school’s idea of a field trip was to attend a “Just for Jesus” rally? This is a rally that has in the past “featured Christian music, skits dramatizing the effect of being saved, and sermons from local preachers.”
That’s a possibility that the Ouachita Parish School Board (in Louisiana) will take into consideration at the next board meeting next Tuesday. (Apparently, there’s discussion to be had over this. Competent school officials would’ve just said “No” right off the bat…)
This is not a field trip for members of a Christian club at the school (that would actually be ok if all clubs at that school had the same opportunities). As far as we know, this is a field trip for everyone, taking place during school hours.
Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. Check out the same district’s history with church/state issues:
… In 2000, Americans United and the Louisiana branch of the American Civil Liberties Union sued the school district on behalf of families who disagreed with the school’s policy of broadcasting Christian prayers over the intercom.
In 2006, the school board approved a policy watering down the teaching of evolution; last year, school officials engineered votes on graduation prayers, saying the majority should rule.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State is not suing over the field trip — not yet. But they are warning the school board not to go through with this.
In a letter to the school board (PDF), AU lawyers tell the school that this is essentially a bad idea.
I’d also like to know who proposed the trip and what the motivation was behind it.
In the meantime, until we hear any more about this, give yourself a good scare and check out the Just for Jesus website.
(via Proud Atheists)