About the School Prayer That Caused Students to Miss Class…

Yesterday, I posted about Lumpkin County High School (Georgia) and how 50 students there prayed together (with an adult coach) for two hours at the beginning of the school day, causing them to miss class. Superintendent Dewey Moye decided he wouldn’t punish anybody over the incident.

Well, I have to apologize.

I apparently got a very important detail of the story wrong and I need to take this moment to correct my mistake.

The prayer wasn’t two hours long.

Lumpkin County Schools Superintendent Dewey Moye now says a prayer at school lasted more than six hours.

Garrett Gray, a 10th grader at Lumpkin County High School, said that between 12 and 15 fellow students turned their lives over to Christ during the prayer.

“There were like 10 to 15 people dropped right there. It was just the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen — just dropped on their knees. They got saved. Everybody was praying. Everybody was crying, and that went on until about 1:30,” Gray said.

Oh. And there’s this:

Moye said that he has caught some heat for not disciplining the 50-plus students or four faculty members involved.

So 50 students and 4 faculty members skipped a day of school to pray and nobody was punished for it. No suspensions for the students, who ditched their classes. No loss of salary for the faculty members who presumably weren’t helping their other students because… Jesus.

Unbelievable. If these people were doing anything other than prayer, they would have been punished immediately. Superintendent Moye is sending the message that religion trumps education in his district.

What’s next? A student getting an extra day to do an assignment because Jesus ate his homework?

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • onamission5

    Messages sent: public school campuses are the perfect locations to hold spontaneous, teacher led revivals, because a dozen students who somehow have no access to church whatsoever and are incapable of finding one if they wanted to were pressed to convert to christianity during that time, also, it’s totes okay to skip school if teachers who have the same religious beliefs you do are skipping class, too. And, if you want to get paid for going to church, become a public school teacher.
    Disgusting.

    • Jane Doe

      Those “teachers” disgust me. I tried for years to secure a public school teaching job. Ended up with a waste of a degree and have since returned to factory work. I would have NEVER put a personal agenda before my students’ education.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Someone needs to sue over this.

    • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

      Possibly.

      But who, with what locus standi, over what actual controversy, over what actual or imminent injury, and what manner of judicial redress sought?

      • Xuuths

        Any parent of any child in the classes who had no teacher in them. Dereliction of duty, contributing to the delinquincy of a minor, putting a child in harm’s way, abandonment, a creative attorney could come up with a lot.

        • Puzzled

          Nonsense. Teenagers are perfectly capable of being without adults for long periods of time, and, outside of school, spend hours on their own.

          • onamission5

            Except that during school hours, teacher are contractually and legally responsible for both teaching and supervising their students. Who knows what went on in class while the teachers were not present? If even one student had come to harm during this period of time the school is liable. If even one classroom became disruptive, if one student was bullied because they had no adult present to run interference for them, if one student missed access to information they needed for their studies, the school is liable.

            Of course if harm did come to any student who was not present at the revival meeting and whose classroom went unsupervised, it will probably be blamed on them not having enough jesus in their lives and not on the teachers who irresponsibly and quite possibly illegally decided that church belongs in school.

            • Puzzled

              True – and if someone was harmed, then you’ll have cause for action. You don’t have cause for action if the claim is that they could have been harmed.

              • onamission5

                Breach of contract. Violation of school policies. Dereliction of duty. Negligence. Contributing to the delinquency (truancy) of minors. The list of infractions that could be brought against these teachers is substantial. That no disciplinary actions will be taken is christian exceptionalism at its finest.

                • Puzzled

                  Yes, disciplinary actions can be taken. But none of those are sufficient for a lawsuit by a party not actually harmed. Negligence, for instance, requires a duty to act, a failure to act, and a demonstration of harm. I have a feeling that if a student were actually harmed by the abscence of a teacher, it would have been reported. If no student was harmed, there’s cause for disciplinary action, but no cause for a lawsuit.

                • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

                  As noted by Puzzled, the contractual breach is a matter between teachers and the school district, who have no need to sue; its agents could take disciplinary action, but apparently have no interest.

                  Contributing to the delinquency of minors would be a criminal charge, not subject of a civil suit; I think that would have to be pursued by a state DA (or equivalent), rather than by private parties. DAs can be expected to be even less interested in action on this than the school board.

                  The school’s liability and the prospect of student harm might allow a parent to get injunctive relief against the school district, to inhibit this being ever done again, even with the apparent lack of particular harm here. However, this should never have happened in the first place, making a “now don’t do this again” seem feeble. Contrariwise, having the “DON’T” as a court order with the prospective threat of a stint in jail for contempt of court might add teeth.

              • eric

                I’m in class. The teacher isn’t. So instead of 45 minutes of compulsory education I get 45 minutes of compulsory being-locked-up-with-classmates-for-no-good-reason. That’s harm.

                I think Xuuths’ right; the students who were stuck in classes while their teachers attended this prayerfest have cause to sue. As due their parents.

                IANAL but they might even, arguabl,y have cause to sue the teacher directly, not just the school district. AIUI the standard ‘government worker’ excemption only applies if you are doing your job. This was clearly not part of the teacher’s job, so his/her actions would not be protected any more than if she had stolen something from a student on school time.

                • Puzzled

                  I don’t think you’ll find a court that will declare sitting in a room for 45 minutes pointlessly a cause for relief in a lawsuit. If compulsory being locked in with classmates for no good reason did count as harm, then you could sue any time the teacher gave a lousy lesson.

                • GCT

                  How many minutes does it take then? How many times can the teacher simply not show up in order to lead prayers (against the law) before it’s actionable? One time is enough.

                • Puzzled

                  I’d say not showing up to class is never cause for a lawsuit. It’s cause for employer action. Schools today embrace the idea that education can be measured in units of time, so the school certainly should be offended by this and should punish those teachers. The school could face challenges if it does not do so, and if failure to do so can be shown to be responsible for falling below state minimum contact hours, or for decline in standardized test scores. I doubt that would be true, though. I personally think such standards are absurd, and that education is measured in quality conversations, not minutes of droning on unintelligbly.

                • GCT

                  The teacher left class in order to violate the first amendment separation of church/state and the school is giving them all a pass. This is much more than a teacher simply missing a class.

                • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

                  That doesn’t automatically make it an actual controversy within the jurisdiction of the courts. It just makes it an outrage.

                • GCT

                  So, the teacher goes and violates the 1st amendment and the students in class lose out because of it, but there’s no violation there? Sorry, not buying it.

                • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

                  I’m not saying there’s no violation. I’m saying that if the school district officials aren’t doing their jobs here, this situation doesn’t seem to leave anyone with a clear complaint and standing to appear before any court of law.

                  However, I am not a lawyer; perhaps I’m missing something.

                • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

                  Contrariwise, when there’s no employer action, there doesn’t seem to be any standing for a lawsuit to present the requisite challenges.

                  (As I understand, the point of such standards is to set a minimum; interaction being a prerequisite to quality interaction, it’s trying to raise the floor just slightly.)

                • Puzzled

                  I’m not sure why that’s contrariwise to my statement. I said there was no standing for a lawsuit. My point in the comment you responded to was that one possible remedy could be action by the state or federal government if the school does not act to defund or shut down the school under the applicable state laws or NCLB if the lack of school action can be shown to cause the students to be under the minimum contact hours or to cause students to fail the achievement tests. As I said before, I oppose such standards, but they do seem useful to punish this school in the unlikely event that one of these is true. (It’s more than possible that the school has some unused snow days and such to meet the hour requirement.) I oppose them on principle – while I get that the point is to set a minimum, too often it isn’t seen that way by politicians and administrators, and besides, 180 days simply is irrelevant to the matter of quality education.

            • Guest

              The contractual breach is a matter between teachers and the school district, who have no need to sue; its agents could take disciplinary action, but apparently have no interest.

              The school’s liability and the prospect of student harm might allow a parent to get injunctive relief against the school district, to inhibit this being ever done again, even with the apparent lack of particular harm here. However, this should never have happened in the first place, making a “now don’t do this again” seem feeble. Contrariwise, having the “DON’T” as a court order with the prospective threat of a stint in jail for contempt of court might add teeth.

        • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

          Possibly. Doesn’t answer the key question of what manner of redress to the injury might be sought from the courts. Nominal damages, plus maybe legal costs with luck?

        • anniewhoo

          This last month of the school year is incredibly valuable time. As a teacher, my classes are being utilized this week to review for final exams. Missing even one day can put a student at a disadvantage. As for the classrooms that were without a teacher, when will the day’s missed lessons be made up?

          This whole situation is infuriating. I don’t even leave my students unattended to run to the bathroom. If something were to happen to any one of them while I was gone, it would (and should) be my responsibility.

      • rhodent

        Find a non-Christian and have him skip school for a day. If they try to write him up for it, he can sue for religious discrimination.

  • ortcutt

    Can you imagine if these were Muslim students and faculty?

    • sswaan

      I can see it – rows of young men and women quietly performing salat. The school would have been cleared, and the FBI and bomb squad called in.

      • LesterBallard

        No, Seal Team Six would have been called in to neutralize the terrorists.

  • Tainda

    Hmmmm, maybe if I had prayed when I skipped school I wouldn’t have gotten so many Saturday schools…

    As I was shopping I could have yelled out “I’ve been SAVED!” and all would have been forgiven by my principal.

    • Gus Snarp

      That might have actually worked to get me out of Saturday work detail at my high school, but I just had to go and be honest.

  • sswaan

    Is anyone else concerned about the effects of a 6-hour prayer session on children? No wonder some of them “just dropped on their knees.” I’ve seen prayer be calming and soothing for people, just as meditation can be for me. But six hours of prayer – run by authority figures, no less – sounds like brainwashing.

    • Charles Knutson

      That was my reaction. Exhaustion is a tool used by cults to wear down the wills of new members…

    • Stev84

      This reaction with heightened emotions and crying isn’t that unusual really. It’s some kind of group pressure thing and exactly what the Pentecostals exploit. A few people act weird – like dancing, waving their arms around, talking in tongues, shouting or crying – and then others do the same so they don’t feel excluded. Doesn’t mean that anything is genuine.

      But yeah, after a few hours it’s no surprise that someone want to sit down.

    • onamission5

      It’s par for the course at jesus camp and revivals and youth group meetings where the church members are supposed to bring a friend. Does not surprise me it was extended to school campus, too (okay it does a little but given how much leeway christians get for imposing their faith on others it had to happen eventually). Eventually some kids will convert just to try and get it over with, because there is no graceful way to extricate oneself from a multiple hours long praying and crying session. IME, often these things won’t end until everyone joins in by coming to the front, laying themselves on the altar and giving themselves over to jesus (no that’s not creepy, not at all). Not joining in makes you both a target for further laying on of hands/intercession and someone to blame for how long it went on because of your satanic, evil stubbornness.

    • http://www.last.fm/user/MetalHeadCrab MetalHeadCrab

      I agree it was probably run or coordinated by authority figures. I don’t, however, believe the children were on their knees for six hours non-stop. I’m speculating that it was probably a “tag-team” sort of prayer. “We’ll pray for an hour, then at x-o’clock you guys will come in and take over”.

      The church and community I used to be a part of would sometimes do these non-stop prayers to “compel” god to hear their prayers about healing this person or saving that sheep gone astray.

  • Gus Snarp

    I appreciate your correction, but it’s not really you who got it wrong, the local media did at worst, or even they were misled. So it’s more of an update than a correction.

    And at least one of those teachers appears to have left his or her classroom entirely without adult supervision. Surely within the teachers’ contract there’s some clear and strong disciplinary measure for such a flagrant dereliction of duty?

    They turned the gym into a revival meeting. Saying it won’t happen again is hardly sufficient. A strong message needs to be sent that skipping class and abandoning students is unacceptable, whether the reason is prayer or not, and turning the school into a church during school hours is similarly unacceptable.

    • smalltownamy

      But it won’t happen. If the superintendent says anything like that he’ll be portrayed as persecuting Christians. He might not be an elected official, but he won’t want that heat.

      At most, he’ll take the teachers aside and tell them privately that they can’t leave their classes unattended.

      • Gus Snarp

        Sad but true. The real question will be, since he said it won’t happen again, what he’ll do when it inevitably does happen again (since he’s sent the wrong message and at least one student has already said he’d do it again).

  • Kengi

    How does this guy expect to run a high school when he made attending class optional for students as well as teachers?

    • Puzzled

      Because education is worthwhile and enjoyable when done right? Of course, that would mean changing how the school operates, but I see nothing wrong with running a high school where class is optional. It sounds a lot more like a school and less like a prison than our current schools. Certainly, though, this is the wrong way to do it.

      • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

        Of course, that would mean changing how the school operates, but I see nothing wrong with running a high school where class is optional.

        You don’t work in education, do you?

        • Puzzled

          Yes. My observations for the last 10 years or so: Students who don’t want to be there don’t learn, and might, if you’re lucky, walk around with vague ideas about b squared – 4ac doing something. Students who want to be there, and are more motivated by understanding than by grades, really learn. It is harder to motivate students in forced attendance settings than non.

          • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

            And those are the kids who need to be there the most. I get that motivating students is difficult – probably one of the most difficult aspects of teaching, in my opinion – but the idea of making class optional is simply laughable.

            • Puzzled

              Motivating unmotivated students who are forced, by law, to sit in a room they do not wish to sit in, generally being lectured to, asked to learn things with no relevance to their lives, for no reason other than to spit them back on a test, is not difficult – it is impossible. The reason for that is that they shouldn’t be motivated in such circumstances. Insisting that we adults know better than a teenager what that teenager should do with their time, should care about, should learn – when we generally are wrong in any case – is profoundly disrespectful. In any case, here are some other laughable ideas: teaching democracy in a social studies classroom where people are required to attend, sit in an age-segregated classroom, and where the virtues of democracy and freedom are extolled by an authority figure who stands while the others sit – who then forces them to recite the orthodoxies and calls it class discussion, and forces them to write the orthodoxies and pretend it is an original paper. Molding citizens who are respectful, courageous, non-conforming thinkers, and thoughtful in a place where they are required to take in and spit back large amounts of meaningless information, and to memorize names for things as if they were facts about the universe.

      • GCT

        And, when the teachers continually opt out so they can go pray, then what? Too bad students, you get a sub-standard education because teachers are praying to Jeebus.

        • Puzzled

          Well, I find it unlikely that the element causing a subpar education is having less classes with teachers who think praying for 6 hours during the school day is a good idea. What do you imagine their classrooms are like? I would expect that education is best when their classes are missed. But, yes, I was referring mainly to being voluntary for students, not teachers. However, I do object to the conflation here of having classes less often and having a subpar education. Education is not a function of time spent with butt in seat listening to someone drone on.

          • GCT

            No, it’s not, but there’s also only so much you can cover and when you further limit the amount of time you have by simply not showing up, it’s certainly not helping. It’s prejudicial for you to assume that a teacher that would go off and pray for 6 hours on school time is automatically not a good teacher at their subject when they are actually working.

            • Puzzled

              Coverage is a myth; the point of education is to think better, to appreciate the world more, and to make sense of reality, not to stuff facts into an empty head. It’s not true that less time in the classroom always equates to a problem – one of the major problems with education is that students spend too much time getting lectured and not enough digesting. That said, of course the way to have more thoughtful education is not by randomly taking teachers and students out of classrooms for 6 hours to pray. Regarding my prejudices – I’m having trouble believing that’s a serious comment. The teachers, unlike me, very likely believe that time in the classroom is best for education – yet they decided to skip work anyway. I think we can make reasonable inferences about their priorities from that. They lack a good grasp on reality – that bleeds into any class they teach, whether science, literature, or math. Good education is a meeting of two minds – if one is full of delusions, half-truths, and poor reasoning, and the other is the student, you have a problem. Teachers pour themselves into their classroom, their class environment, and their discussions. Do you want such devotion to mysticism poured into a classroom?

              • GCT

                Coverage is a myth; the point of education is to think better, to appreciate the world more, and to make sense of reality, not to stuff facts into an empty head.

                Critical thinking is a good skill to have, but there are many areas where basic facts must also be known in order to apply those critical thinking skills. We could throw up our hands and claim coverage is a myth and just teach how to think with no background, no facts, no way to apply that critical thinking, but even that takes time.

                It’s not true that less time in the classroom always equates to a problem – one of the major problems with education is that students spend too much time getting lectured and not enough digesting.

                That’s an issue with the person doing too much lecturing and not enough of engaging the students.

                Regarding my prejudices – I’m having trouble believing that’s a serious comment. The teachers, unlike me, very likely believe that time in the classroom is best for education – yet they decided to skip work anyway.

                And, you’re taking the further step in assuming that therefore they must be bad at teaching when they do attend class. They might actually be good teachers that made a bad decision, or they might be horrible teachers. We don’t know. You can’t simply assume the latter.

                They lack a good grasp on reality – that bleeds into any class they teach, whether science, literature, or math. Good education is a meeting of two minds – if one is full of delusions, half-truths, and poor reasoning, and the other is the student, you have a problem.

                What, then religious people can’t be good teachers?

                Do you want such devotion to mysticism poured into a classroom?

                Of course not, but you’re assuming that they do this without supporting evidence. It’s prejudicial.

                • Puzzled

                  I’m not saying that education can, or should, be fact-free, just that the point of it is not conveying information. If we think that there are facts that are important for people in society to know, they can be conveyed by books – if you have a population able to digest what they read and use it. But, of course, you can’t simply think about nothing, so some facts need to be involved for that reason. I teach math – I don’t entirely leave out how to factor a polynomial, but I use that kind of content to do explorations, discoveries, and the like – and it isn’t, as many think, that learning in this way helps them to do a better job learning to factor polynomials.

  • Stev84

    You truly have to be in some religious trance (read the insane babbling of one of the participants) to pray for SIX hours.

    • ortcutt

      I would feel a lot better about all of this if drugs had been involved.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        You and me both.

    • Jayn

      That was more or less my thoughts. I had a hard enough time wrapping my head around a 2-hour prayer session. And I consider an hour-long mass to be pushing things.

  • Randomfactor

    Well, the precedent’s been set now. If an atheist group wants to organize a similar event, there’s nothing the school can do to stop them.

    • Reginald Selkirk

      “At the local high school today, atheists students skipped classes for six hours in order not to pray…”

      • Charles Honeycutt

        Pfftheeheehee!

      • Leiningen’s Ants

        I am DYING here. XD Oh man.

    • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

      Except that they should do something positive, like community service or tutoring younger kids.

      • Emmet

        Why should they?

    • eric

      The school absolutely should stop them for a similar behavior. What’s next – Bob hit a student and didn’t get fired, so its okay for me to hit them?
      No, the proper response even if this group isn’t punished is to continue to enforce the best school policy you can in the future. Obviously in an even-handed manner, yes, but that means not letting christians do this crap in the future. It doesn’t mean letting everyone else do this crap in the future.

      • Charles Honeycutt

        Randomfactor didn’t say that the school shouldn’t try to stop similar behavior; He/She indicated that the school now lacks the credible authority to do so. If they try, they can be shredded with lawsuits.

    • LesterBallard

      Six straight hours of reason and critical thinking; sounds good.

      • Philc

        Why isn’t the entire school day filled with reason and critical thinking? Isn’t that what school should be?

        • LesterBallard

          This America; God’s Country; Jesus Land.

  • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

    This would appear to go far beyond “reasonable accommodation” of religion, and well into favorable treatment of religion.

    Contrariwise, if the Superintendent and School Board remain non-reacting, I’m not sure what hypothetical manner of secularist would have standing and grievance to pursue relief from some alternate source of recourse. (It looks to be relatively rural Georgia, so I presume the majority of the district isn’t too upset about maintaining the church-state divide, leaving “vote in a new school board” impractical as means of redress.)

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    Well, the ACLU and FFRF should have a field day with this one.

    • Randomfactor

      FFRF maybe. ACLU? Not until someone else is prevented from doing this.

  • http://twitter.com/ylaenna M. Elaine

    “The god ate my homework.”

  • Rain

    “There were like 10 to 15 people dropped right there. It was just the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen — just dropped on their knees.”

    Thousand of synchronized people dropping to their knees every day in Mecca is not more amazing than that? Hyperbole much? How about lying to impress the other fundies. Lying to impress the other fundies much?

    • Gus Snarp

      It’s pretty likely that these kids really have very little experience of the wider world outside rural Georgia, so it’s probably true that it was the most amazing thing he’d ever seen. Maybe a field trip to the planetarium would help with that.

  • Artor

    Every student in this school who did not participate in this bullshit should abuse the hell out of the situation and skip class freely. When someone complains, then they can loudly and publicly point out the hypocrisy. Or alternately, and this is the result I’d rather see, the coach and principal who allowed this should be fired immediately, and every student who participated should be suspended.

    • Quintin van Zuijlen

      Not only could a student skip class and then point out the hypocrisy, but even sue the school for discrimination. I suppose the school would rather discipline the 50 students and 4 teachers than have that battle.

      • Charles Honeycutt

        Sadly, the history of theists in these matters tells us otherwise.

    • ElDouchee

      I disagree – no student should be disciplined for missing classes when given the opportunity by faculty. that would be like Mitt Romney skipping a tax deduction, an unconscionable act by American standards.

      • Artor

        I don’t think a single one of these students didn’t know this was explicitly against school rules, but they did have supposedly responsible adults present enabling them, so maybe they deserve a little slack. But the school staff should definitely be fired.

        • meekinheritance

          I don’t know if they should be fired, but disciplined certainly.
          Oh, and the salvations should be anulled.

        • ElDouchee

          Exactly – if a teacher lets you out of class, I’d say any self-respecting teenager should take advantage of the opportunity, if they’re so inclined, that is.

          And yeah, OF COURSE the teachers should face punitive action. But will they? No.

  • ~SoACTing

    And I though singing a song, the same song, in fact the chorus of the same song for four long torturous hours at a week long summer camp was cruel and unadulturated torture!!

    ~ SoACTing

  • http://www.facebook.com/bruce.arvidsonii Bruce L Arvidson II

    This is taken right from the student handbook…STUDENT HONOR CODE

    As
    a Lumpkin County High School student, I accept both the
    responsibilities and the consequences for the freedom to make choices,
    and I understand I am accountable for the following code:

    1. I will refuse to tolerate dishonesty. I will not participate in, encourage, or condone cheating, lying, plagiarism, or stealing.

    2.
    I will exhibit the desire and effort necessary to achieve academically,
    and I understand that no other activity takes priority over learning at
    Lumpkin County High School.

    Guess, prayer supercedes learning.

  • Melody Hollis

    Well, the next time a Christian says that kids aren’t allowed to pray at school at all (which I have heard many times), we can point them to this example.

  • somewhereintexas

    damn your incompetence, man!! get yer facts straight for crying out loud. sheesh. next thing you are going to do is re-re-report that the school ordered and paid for Jimmy John’s for all attendees.

  • Lee Miller

    When you have THE TRUTH™, everything else doesn’t matter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/A-William-Michael/1044899488 A William Michael

    Comment below said it best: Can you imagine if these were Muslim students and faculty?

  • http://www.facebook.com/matt.potter.73 Matt Potter

    Any student there now can not only miss class and expect not to be punished but they have a strong case to break just about any other written rule or policy without fear. If the district and school won’t punish infractions that clearly break policy they truly have lost any authority to rule on any other violations.

    • baal

      I think if there is a legally actionable harm, even if just for a declaratory judgment, it’s this. Really if you can pull a large percent of students and a plurality of teachers for a prayer rally, what future expectation of regular order could a jew, atheist, or other non-that denomination of christian have?

  • JET

    The sad/depressing/horrific thing is that this is probably not an unusual occurence in bible belt public schools. This school may have taken things a step or two further with their forced conversions, but I imagine many, many students feel the (not so) subtle pressure to conform. Peer pressure and the need to be seen as fitting in is a very real thing for teenagers. “Accept Jesus or you will have no friends” is a real threat and it takes a tremendous amount of courage for a teenager to resist. I hope that there is at least one brave student in this school calling the FFRF and saying they are willing to be the plaintiff.

  • DougI

    And I thought six hours of playing videos games was a massive waste of time. I have been corrected.

    • Charles Honeycutt

      At least you probably unlocked some Achievements with your waste of time. The best they did was miss a meal and make more work for themselves.

  • JA

    ‘Jesus ate my homework’… Now that would be an interesting excuse to use…

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    There are plenty of other times this could be scheduled. I would not consider this an excused absence no matter what they were doing. The teachers involved should be disciplined. this isn’t about religion. It’s about scheduling. This meeting could have happened on Saturday or Sunday or on a school holiday.

  • teacher

    Another important fact to note is that one teacher involved, who is a baptist preacher, actually left his class unattended while saving these students. He even went so far as to pull students out of class for a “spiritual matter.” Now any member of the community who speaks out against this is being bullied. The community is even having t-shirts printed to celebrate this event.

  • Justin Miyundees

    Exactly why we homeschool. It is literally the only way, in Jawja, to avoid that delusional fluster cluck.

    My son came home at age seven and prayed at the dinner table – that was quite enough of that, thank you.

    I was a teacher as well. It was a rural district and I learned early on that it was taboo to assign homework on Wednesdays or tests or quizzes on Thursdays because “Wednesday night is church night.”

    This has been going on for generations and if he were to say anything remotely challenging, old Dewey could very well find his job on the line and himself and family social pariahs.

  • Beth

    I hope the other teachers give these kids zeros for the homework/tests for the day they missed. No excused absence: ZERO
    Harsh? Yup, you don’t need to use school time to pray for hours…HOURS that you should be learning.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kristofer.wetherbe Kristofer Wetherbe

    I wonder how the community would have felt if it was for any other religion?

  • Mario Strada

    Is it possible that an event such as this one, in 2013, was not videotaped by anyone?

  • A3Kr0n

    I never would put up with a 6 hour prayer. What’s wrong with these idiot kids? We should be teaching them to fight back, not lie down like puppy dogs.

  • jeannieinpa

    For a teacher, the sudden lack of many of your students can be a problem. That day’s lesson must be retaught the next day. It is a terrible waste of teaching time.

  • Sue Blue

    Oh, for the love of reason and sanity, why don’t these religionuts just stay at home if they want to pray all day? Why aren’t they homeschooled? How many times does it have to be emphasized that school if for education, church is for praying?

    These assholes are just determined to cram their delusional views down everyone throats in every imaginable venue. There’s nothing preventing these kids from praying 24/7 as long as they don’t skip class and disrupt school. Clearly this was just a stunt aimed at proselytizing and undermining public education (which is a huge part of the evangelical agenda).

    I think any atheist student group in the area should stage a six-hour-long sit-in at a local school to emphasize the point. What’s to stop any student-led activity from eating up the entire school day?

  • http://www.facebook.com/joshua.pierce.75 Joshua Pierce

    I would love to see either atheist students, or students of a non-christian religion, take a day off and then claim that it was for spiritual reason. It would be nice to see how tolerant the school was if the kids aren’t christians.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brahminbroad Rachel Warner

    Un-freakin’ real.

  • Robster

    Do they offer a course in wasting time, because that’s what this sounds like. There’s only one bigger waste of time and that’s worshipping something that isn’t really there.

  • http://twitter.com/yjmbobllns Yojimbo Billions

    I cannot think of a single day of school so terrible that I would rather have prayed for six hours, and I was pretty well brainwashed as a kid.

  • godlessveteran

    Someone needs to report this to the Department of Education, so the school will lose the federal money schools receive daily per student. And the teachers’ pay should be docked for failing to report for work in their assigned work location.

  • http://twitter.com/RyanTee82 Ryan Thompson

    Well its Georgia, they still have segregated proms. #imbred #ignorant


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