Earlier this year, we learned that the School of Engineering and Arts in Golden Valley, Minnesota had sent children on a field to a local Christian church (Calvary Lutheran Church) in order to package food for the hungry for a separate Christian non-profit group (Feed My Starving Children). Both the church and the non-profit were interested in spreading the Gospel.
A Bible-Thumping High School Football Coach Allegedly Threw a Student Off the Team for Not Praying With Everyone
Back in April, we found out that Middletown High School football coach Chris Wells didn’t know how to separate his preaching from his job. The Freedom From Religion Foundation ended up sending a letter to administrators at the Ohio school district:
In the letter from [Freedom From Religion Foundation] staff attorney Rebecca S. Markert, that was obtained by the Journal-News, she wrote the group with 20,000 members, including 550 in Ohio, was contacted by a concerned parent of a football player. She said the group was told Wells tells his players to bow their heads and “leads” them in prayer before team meals. She wrote that Wells also has encouraged his players to attend his church, invited them to church events and offered them rides.
Markert said the group was informed Wells told his players they would be “saved” if they attended the church events.
At the time, it seemed like that was enough.
Superintendent Sam Ison said the district took the letter “seriously and acted upon it promptly” Wednesday afternoon by having MHS Principal Carmela Cotter and Athletic Director Gary Lebo discuss the situation with Wells. Ison said while the district wants its players to maintain “high morale values,” Wells needs to respect others’ religious beliefs.
Wells, 41, was told to quit talking to his players about religion and he agreed to follow the district’s rules, Ison said on Thursday morning.