KY football coach takes kids to baptism....

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Jenny - posted on 09/10/2009

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Religion has no place in school period. There is no gray there for me. No religion at school save for a religious history course or something similar. Totally out of line.

Jenny - posted on 09/10/2009

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Fire his ass! Not acceptable. I would freak out if that was my kid. If you can't keep your religion out of your job, go work in a church.

[deleted account]

No one has actually filed a lawsuit just yet, and it doesn't sound like anyone will. But that doesn't change the fact that the coach admittedly used practice time to promote a religious program at his church. He then used school property - the bus - to transport students to a religious event. Teachers are not permitted to do either of these things, as the courts have ruled on this type of situation time and time again.

[deleted account]

Okay, I haven't read all the replies yet, but I just had to put in my opinion.



I am a PK (pastor's kid) and I was always raised that baptism is a very special event in your life. It is your rebirth in Christ and not to be taken lightly. I find it appalling that a pastor would baptise these kids in the first place! My dad will not baptise young adults until he has spoken with them one on one and made sure they understand what baptism means. Also, so what if the parents knew about the trip? Did they know their kids were getting baptised? I know I would be pissed if someone baptised my kids without my consent, or me even being there! Of course I would approve a trip for my kids to see another religion (I am big on letting them see a bunch of religions and letting them choose for themselves - that's what my parents did for me and I did go with their religion in the end, but I gave some others very serious thought first). I think it's important for other religions besides your own to be studied, but to have your kids baptosed their first visit? I think not.



My hubby and I had our middle daughter baptised when she was 7 months old, but I had to kind of push him to do it as I am Methodist and he is Muslim (he converted about a year before we met - he used to go the the Russian Baptist church when he was younger and was baptized Russian Baptist at first, but was re-baptized Muslim when he converted). We still don't know if we will get our youngest baptised, and our oldest (my stpedaughter) has also never been baptsied.



I just cannot believe that the coach did that. He should be severely reprimanded, if not fired. Baptism is a very special and spiritual experience that can never be taken back. if someone took that experience with my kids away I would be livid.

Sarah - posted on 09/11/2009

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Ok, so i have no problem with them visiting a church. My daughters school often go to the nearby church for various things and although i am entirely non-religious, i have no problem with it at all. It also wouldn't bother me if they went to a mosque or a synagogue to be honest. I've no problem with my kids being exposed to religion.
However......if they baptised my kids, i would be EXTREMELY angry!
I think there is a world of difference between visting a church, mosque, whatever, and actually preforming a ritual to make them 'part' of that religion.
I haven't christened or baptised either of my girls, i feel that's a decision for THEM to make when they are older.
Perhaps there is an argument that these kids willingly took part, but even if they did, it's dubious as i'm sure there would have been pressure to participate, the coach was probably looked up to and once one student agreed, then peer pressure comes into it.
I think it's wrong for ANYONE to try and push their religious beliefs onto others.....but especially a person in a position of responsibilty. :)

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Esther - posted on 09/14/2009

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Quoting Diana:



Quoting Christa:

I don't care that President Obama gave a speech in the schools. If he has message for students then fine. I also don't care that this Coach took kids to a baptist rivival (parent knew about it). When a role model for kids has a message they want to share and parents are okay with it....who are we to oppose. Personally I think what happens at their school in their school district is their business. I don't understand why you all are so up in arms over this.






Because it's not just their business. Although public schools receive more local and state than federal funding, they all receive federal funding, which means that my tax dollars are paying for schools around the nation. And at least one parent is upset about what happened. I have serious problems with my tax dollars being used for something illegal and nothing being done about it. President Obama didn't do anything illegal, and the comparison is completely unfair.






Also, the whole world knew about the Obama speech ahead of time and the text of the speech was available for all to read the day before he delivered it and it was entirely optional. Schools could (and did) choose not to have their students watch it and if they did show it, parents were free to keep their kids home to avoid "the indoctrination" (rolling my eyes again). I think there is a huge difference between speaking about education in a public school or trying to convert students to your own religion in a school setting. Apples and oranges .... try cats and oranges. If this coach wanted to do this, maybe he could have done it on a weekend, AFTER making VERY sure that ALL parents consented.

[deleted account]

Quoting Christa:

I don't care that President Obama gave a speech in the schools. If he has message for students then fine. I also don't care that this Coach took kids to a baptist rivival (parent knew about it). When a role model for kids has a message they want to share and parents are okay with it....who are we to oppose. Personally I think what happens at their school in their school district is their business. I don't understand why you all are so up in arms over this.



Because it's not just their business. Although public schools receive more local and state than federal funding, they all receive federal funding, which means that my tax dollars are paying for schools around the nation. And at least one parent is upset about what happened. I have serious problems with my tax dollars being used for something illegal and nothing being done about it. President Obama didn't do anything illegal, and the comparison is completely unfair.

~Jennifer - posted on 09/13/2009

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Quoting Christa:

I don't care that President Obama gave a speech in the schools. If he has message for students then fine. I also don't care that this Coach took kids to a baptist rivival (parent knew about it). When a role model for kids has a message they want to share and parents are okay with it....who are we to oppose. Personally I think what happens at their school in their school district is their business. I don't understand why you all are so up in arms over this.



...and how would you feel if the football coach had taken the kids to a coven meeting?

Christa - posted on 09/13/2009

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I don't care that President Obama gave a speech in the schools. If he has message for students then fine. I also don't care that this Coach took kids to a baptist rivival (parent knew about it). When a role model for kids has a message they want to share and parents are okay with it....who are we to oppose. Personally I think what happens at their school in their school district is their business. I don't understand why you all are so up in arms over this.

[deleted account]

Quoting Christa:

Since we are in the debate forum......why would be okay to allow the government to air a speech to all school children during school hours (hours of learning of Reading, Writing and Arithmatic) but not okay for a coach (with parents knowledge) to take kids to a church sponsored event? Is it only okay because you agree with one and not the other?



I totally agree with everyone wo is pointing out that this question really has not standing. The President's speech was about staying in school and reaching your educational goals. The coach's "speech" that i m sure he gave the lids during their practice time had to do with religion and what those kids "should" practice. They really are not the same issue at all.

[deleted account]

Quoting Christa:



Quoting Diana:




Quoting Christa:

Since we are in the debate forum......why would be okay to allow the government to air a speech to all school children during school hours (hours of learning of Reading, Writing and Arithmatic) but not okay for a coach (with parents knowledge) to take kids to a church sponsored event? Is it only okay because you agree with one and not the other?








Huh?








You're comparing apples and oranges. The problem here is that school property and time were used to endorse a religion, and unless the speech did the same thing (endorsed a religion or taught religious ideas using school time and property)-which it didn't, this isn't anywhere near the same situation.










Let me clarify....in the United States we are to keep Religion and State out of the schools.  Teachers are not to allow children to pray or say Our Pledge of Allegiance because parents in the past have complained.  So Religion and State are taboo.  I am not saying I agree with either one.  Personally, I think both should be allowed in school.  My point is.....some of the same people that totally supported the President's speech being allowed are now so opposed to the trip to a church.  What's the difference....if one can be allowed why not the other?





No, let me clarify. As an American I am well aware of all of this-and you should be aware that the words "Under God" were not added to the pledge until 1954, although the pledge was written in 1892. We're not allowed to say the pledge, nor are we allowed to pray, in schools because it sets up a situation in which state and federally funded schools give the appearance of endorsing a specific religion, which our government has deemed unacceptable. You should also be aware that President Obama's message had nothing to do with religion, while the coach's trip with the players to the church had everything to do with religion. Had they just gone to see a historic building or learn about the church, not during service time, I would feel differently. But the coach used practice time and school-funded busses to take them to a Baptist revival. That is absolutely nothing like President Obama's 15-minute message to children to work hard and stay in school so that they can one day run the country effectively. Now, if Obama had come out and said, "work hard because God wants you to," I can understand the comparison. But religion was nowhere in his speech, and that is the difference between the two. I won't even get into the speech, as I've posted elsewhere about it and I'm sick to death of talking about it, and as it isn't at all relevant to this thread. Again-apples and oranges.

[deleted account]

Quoting Christa:



Quoting Sharon:



Ironically, this very situation is happening in my school district now, although not a religious issue.  There are several day care centers in my area that have drop-off hours as early as 6 am.  They have vans or mini-busses and drive children to school.  This is private industry.  One child care center is owned by a former Board of Education member, and retired teacher.  She uses the public school busses to transport students from her private facility to and from school.  I had an issue with that, as a public tax payer and district employee.  Becasue this women has clout, why is she able to use a public school bus while teh other local daycares use their private bus/van?  I learned that the daycare owner/former Bd. of Ed. member does pay the school district a leasing fee each month based upon the number of students transported.  Also, because the students are shared students (daycare PLUS public school students) there was a legal loophole in the Board Manual that allowed a public school bus to be used for the sole purposes of transporting students to and from school.  The other local daycares chose to own their own vans/busses.  But had this been a religiously based daycare, I highly doubt that the public/private transportation issue would be allowed.









So what did they say when you went to a school board meeting and expressed your concerns for what they were allowing?






Let me explain.  Last semester I was completing my School Adminsitration Internship and basically had to interview practically every non-teaching department.  When I was interviewing the Director of Transportation, I brought up my issue about the public school bus transporting to/from a private child care facility.  It just so happened that the child care owner was at the Transportation building anyway, so I had an opportunity to meet with her to gain a better perspective about the problem I had.  Apparently, this was approved by the Board of Education 12 years ago as a method of earning revenue to the district.  The Bd. of Ed. also extended their transportation services to the other 3 local child care centers, and all 3 declined stating they would use their own private bus/van.  As a business owner, she has a joint interest in supporting the school district.  Her leasing fees include a per pupil expenditure, a fractional portion of maintaining liability insurance, fuel, milage, and maintainence.  I was completely satisfied with her rationale and understand why the other child care centers decided to maintain their own transportation.  The Transportation Department also has a prepared written response to the public because this issue surfaces frequently. 

~Jennifer - posted on 09/13/2009

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Quoting Christa:



Quoting Diana:




Quoting Christa:

Since we are in the debate forum......why would be okay to allow the government to air a speech to all school children during school hours (hours of learning of Reading, Writing and Arithmatic) but not okay for a coach (with parents knowledge) to take kids to a church sponsored event? Is it only okay because you agree with one and not the other?








Huh?








You're comparing apples and oranges. The problem here is that school property and time were used to endorse a religion, and unless the speech did the same thing (endorsed a religion or taught religious ideas using school time and property)-which it didn't, this isn't anywhere near the same situation.










Let me clarify....in the United States we are to keep Religion and State out of the schools.  Teachers are not to allow children to pray or say Our Pledge of Allegiance because parents in the past have complained.  So Religion and State are taboo.  I am not saying I agree with either one.  Personally, I think both should be allowed in school.  My point is.....some of the same people that totally supported the President's speech being allowed are now so opposed to the trip to a church.  What's the difference....if one can be allowed why not the other?





The President's speech did NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT (can I be any more clear?) NOT include religion, so your point is moot. 



Children are allowed to 'opt out' of saying the pledge (here) but in our schools, the schools still start the day with the Pledge.



Which religion should be allowed in school?  If one is allowed, all have to be, if one is discussed, all have to be.  It's called "being fair".



If the President had made a speech in my child's school about RELIGION, rather than education, that would violate the 'church & state' rule.  A speech about furthering education and being responsible for learning, is not a religious speech, and therefore not in violation of the 'church & state' laws.

Christa - posted on 09/13/2009

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Quoting Diana:



Quoting Christa:

Since we are in the debate forum......why would be okay to allow the government to air a speech to all school children during school hours (hours of learning of Reading, Writing and Arithmatic) but not okay for a coach (with parents knowledge) to take kids to a church sponsored event? Is it only okay because you agree with one and not the other?






Huh?






You're comparing apples and oranges. The problem here is that school property and time were used to endorse a religion, and unless the speech did the same thing (endorsed a religion or taught religious ideas using school time and property)-which it didn't, this isn't anywhere near the same situation.






Let me clarify....in the United States we are to keep Religion and State out of the schools.  Teachers are not to allow children to pray or say Our Pledge of Allegiance because parents in the past have complained.  So Religion and State are taboo.  I am not saying I agree with either one.  Personally, I think both should be allowed in school.  My point is.....some of the same people that totally supported the President's speech being allowed are now so opposed to the trip to a church.  What's the difference....if one can be allowed why not the other?

[deleted account]

Quoting Christa:

Since we are in the debate forum......why would be okay to allow the government to air a speech to all school children during school hours (hours of learning of Reading, Writing and Arithmatic) but not okay for a coach (with parents knowledge) to take kids to a church sponsored event? Is it only okay because you agree with one and not the other?



OK, I have to assume this is in reference to Pres. Obama's address to the students last Tuesday.  Yes, there was a shitload of drama over the message of valuing their education, respecting your teachers, staying in school, and striving to meet your educational goals.   I fail to see the harm in the message.  Yet, I do see the utter disrespect in the nation's President, becasue parents are teaching their children to HATE the President.  What I dislike is when parents make assumptions of how a teacher conducts a class debate/discussion and how a teacher spews their own personal opinion/bias.  Um, are all of these parents IN THE CLASSROOM?  As a teacher, I have always welcomed parents into my classroom to observe. I am utterly sick to death of teacher-bashing!  One cannot compare the difference between a positive Presidential message to school children and a coach endorsing a religious belief.  Again, public schools are supported by public tax dollars, both state and federal.  I fail to see why any religious sponsored event THROUGH the schools is a good idea for ALL students-even if parents like the idea.  If parents support the idea, then they should have hired a private charter bus and take their religious sermons and messages OFF of school property and NOT using the practice time on school proprty to discuss the religious issues. 

[deleted account]

Quoting Christa:

Since we are in the debate forum......why would be okay to allow the government to air a speech to all school children during school hours (hours of learning of Reading, Writing and Arithmatic) but not okay for a coach (with parents knowledge) to take kids to a church sponsored event? Is it only okay because you agree with one and not the other?



Huh?



You're comparing apples and oranges. The problem here is that school property and time were used to endorse a religion, and unless the speech did the same thing (endorsed a religion or taught religious ideas using school time and property)-which it didn't, this isn't anywhere near the same situation.

Christa - posted on 09/13/2009

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Quoting Sharon:



Quoting Christa:

I don't believe the "coach" took the kids as their coach....it was not during school hours or practice. I believe he was acting as a mentor or an adult who "cares". If the parents knew...sounds like consent to me. If the school district allowed the bus to be used for a private trip....that is there business. Someone please tell me.....what would be the purpose of the lawsuit? Sounds frivolous to me!!

See this is why religion and govenment should stay out of school!!






This is something I can address and recall from my School Law course.  Public school busses that belong to the public school district are funded with public tax dollars.  Therefore, when used by private organizations, even if they pay for the gas and maintenence on the bus, there can be cause for a lawsuit.  Why should my tax dollars be used to transport a group of people to a religious event I do not sponsor, support, or believe in?  So while it may be frivolous to you, it is meaningful to me and shouldn't be thought of as nothing.






 






Ironically, this very situation is happening in my school district now, although not a religious issue.  There are several day care centers in my area that have drop-off hours as early as 6 am.  They have vans or mini-busses and drive children to school.  This is private industry.  One child care center is owned by a former Board of Education member, and retired teacher.  She uses the public school busses to transport students from her private facility to and from school.  I had an issue with that, as a public tax payer and district employee.  Becasue this women has clout, why is she able to use a public school bus while teh other local daycares use their private bus/van?  I learned that the daycare owner/former Bd. of Ed. member does pay the school district a leasing fee each month based upon the number of students transported.  Also, because the students are shared students (daycare PLUS public school students) there was a legal loophole in the Board Manual that allowed a public school bus to be used for the sole purposes of transporting students to and from school.  The other local daycares chose to own their own vans/busses.  But had this been a religiously based daycare, I highly doubt that the public/private transportation issue would be allowed.






So what did they say when you went to a school board meeting and expressed your concerns for what they were allowing?

Christa - posted on 09/13/2009

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Since we are in the debate forum......why would be okay to allow the government to air a speech to all school children during school hours (hours of learning of Reading, Writing and Arithmatic) but not okay for a coach (with parents knowledge) to take kids to a church sponsored event? Is it only okay because you agree with one and not the other?

[deleted account]

Quoting Christa:

I don't believe the "coach" took the kids as their coach....it was not during school hours or practice. I believe he was acting as a mentor or an adult who "cares". If the parents knew...sounds like consent to me. If the school district allowed the bus to be used for a private trip....that is there business. Someone please tell me.....what would be the purpose of the lawsuit? Sounds frivolous to me!!

See this is why religion and govenment should stay out of school!!



This is something I can address and recall from my School Law course.  Public school busses that belong to the public school district are funded with public tax dollars.  Therefore, when used by private organizations, even if they pay for the gas and maintenence on the bus, there can be cause for a lawsuit.  Why should my tax dollars be used to transport a group of people to a religious event I do not sponsor, support, or believe in?  So while it may be frivolous to you, it is meaningful to me and shouldn't be thought of as nothing.



 



Ironically, this very situation is happening in my school district now, although not a religious issue.  There are several day care centers in my area that have drop-off hours as early as 6 am.  They have vans or mini-busses and drive children to school.  This is private industry.  One child care center is owned by a former Board of Education member, and retired teacher.  She uses the public school busses to transport students from her private facility to and from school.  I had an issue with that, as a public tax payer and district employee.  Becasue this women has clout, why is she able to use a public school bus while teh other local daycares use their private bus/van?  I learned that the daycare owner/former Bd. of Ed. member does pay the school district a leasing fee each month based upon the number of students transported.  Also, because the students are shared students (daycare PLUS public school students) there was a legal loophole in the Board Manual that allowed a public school bus to be used for the sole purposes of transporting students to and from school.  The other local daycares chose to own their own vans/busses.  But had this been a religiously based daycare, I highly doubt that the public/private transportation issue would be allowed.

[deleted account]

Eh. I guess I just don't see this as "nothing." The coach used school property and school endorsed practice time to talk to the kids-as a coach, therefore took them-as their coach, to a religious service, therefore knowingly involving the school in a specific religion. They didn't just go to visit the building or to "find out about other religions." They went to a specifc service to hear a specific speaker and were baptized while they were there. The coach broke trust with parents, with the school district, and with his players, who all trusted him to be a non-biased and non-religious part of the players lives. And he broke the law. Again, I'll say-if this were any other religion whose religious services he had taken the children to and had them converted to (Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, etc.) there would be a shitstorm, and that fact should not matter. Plain and simple, the law says, and the Supreme Court has upheld-over and over again-tt it says, that in public schools who receive federal funding, teachers are not to endorse any religion to their students. If he wants to work at a school where this is acceptable, he should work in the private school sector. He broke the law-he should have consequences, just as when others break the law.

[deleted account]

Oh, I completely agree. There are way too many people out there suing over nothing. But I do think it was irresponsible for the teacher to do something that so obviously left his district open to a legal challenge that would be financially crippling. And I don't think he should be fired, either - but I do think someone needs to draw some clearer lines in that school about what teachers should and should not be doing during instructional time. He can witness all he wants when he's not at work, but it isn't appropriate in the school (or sports practice) setting.

Christa - posted on 09/13/2009

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I still don't believe a lawsuit is the necessary way to handle this. This the problem with our society today....someone makes us mad and we threaten lawsuit. How is that going to solve the problem?



I admit.....if someone took my child to their church and baptized them.....I would be UPSET. I don't care how old a child is.....their baptism is something a parent should be there for. If they parents knew this was going to happen I am not sure WHY they didn't take their own children. But given the story printed, I don't think the guy deserves to be fired, beaten up, taken to court or anything like that. I think someone needs to sit down with him and suggest that if he would like to be a witness to others.....take the parents to church, get them baptized and let them work on their children......or get the family all together....do it as a family.

Johnny - posted on 09/12/2009

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It depends WHAT the parents knew. Were they told that their children would be taking a field trip to the coach's church to be baptized? If they were not informed of all of that information, especially that a baptism would take place, I would say they have every right to a lawsuit. I'd be perfectly fine with my daughter visiting any place of worship to learn about other religions. But if she came back having taken vows as a Druid, baptized as a Catholic, or converted to Judaism, I'd be seeing red.

Christa - posted on 09/12/2009

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I don't believe the "coach" took the kids as their coach....it was not during school hours or practice. I believe he was acting as a mentor or an adult who "cares". If the parents knew...sounds like consent to me. If the school district allowed the bus to be used for a private trip....that is there business. Someone please tell me.....what would be the purpose of the lawsuit? Sounds frivolous to me!!



See this is why religion and govenment should stay out of school!!

[deleted account]

It's just plain wrong on so many levels I really hope this coach gets his ass fired and subjected to a lawsuit. When I took the School Law course, I also learned that the entire school district gets added to teh lawsuit as well: coach, principal, athletic director, superintendent, Board of Education. Cover all parties involved. The kids are minors-period. Unless there are a handful of 18 year olds that made the adult decision to get themselves baptised, the coach violated a parent responsibility. The whole religious thing is wrong too, IMO. I don't care that this is a part of the Bible Belt region of the country. WHY is the coach assuming that EVERYONE shared his religious stance and point of view? Ugh....the whole situation ticks me off and knowing that part f the Bible Belt area, nothing will happen but a slap on the wrist.

Amie - posted on 09/11/2009

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Quoting Diana:

This is preposterous. I would have a fit if my son were to be involved in this, or even if it occurred at his school without his involvement. School and religion are, and have been, separated for a long time in the public sector. It is not ok to send 20 high school football players to a religious gathering 35 miles away on a schoolbus. Even if the coach payed the driver and paid for the gas, the school district still owns the bus, and receives federal funds that help maintain that bus.

I don't care if no parents complained-it's wrong. Schools are not supposed to endorse any religion, and taking a schoolbus to the even constitutes sponsoring it.

And I think that if he'd even *suggested* taking them to a mosque or to a synagogue, parents would have been outraged. Christianity doesn't get a free pass.


Exactly.

Charlie - posted on 09/10/2009

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If this had happened against my wishes or without my knowledge i would be super pissed off and i would see their asses in court .

Our high school gave us a little red bible on our first day of school and told us "do with it what you will but that is all the religion you will see or hear in this school , EVER "

And god or religion as never brought up again for the six years i was there .

[deleted account]

This is preposterous. I would have a fit if my son were to be involved in this, or even if it occurred at his school without his involvement. School and religion are, and have been, separated for a long time in the public sector. It is not ok to send 20 high school football players to a religious gathering 35 miles away on a schoolbus. Even if the coach payed the driver and paid for the gas, the school district still owns the bus, and receives federal funds that help maintain that bus.



I don't care if no parents complained-it's wrong. Schools are not supposed to endorse any religion, and taking a schoolbus to the even constitutes sponsoring it.



And I think that if he'd even *suggested* taking them to a mosque or to a synagogue, parents would have been outraged. Christianity doesn't get a free pass.

Lindsay - posted on 09/10/2009

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Just since Sharon has brought up the small town thing....This county is fairly close to me and we played against this school in high school. It is a very small rural county mostly made up of farmers. I'm not saying that changes laws by any means, but most people around here just settle things instead of taking things into lawsuits and such. It seems so blown out of proportion to me....

Sharon - posted on 09/10/2009

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Ok in reading this article, I've tried to highlight the points everyone has contention with.





Maybe the coach was wrong in inviting the kids but its apparent to me the Ammons kid hid this from his parents in order to attend.  I also don't see mention of his age or if he was JV or Varsity.  If he was 17 yrs old then I think his mother was a fruit cake, if he is 14 yrs old then I can see an argument for coersion etc.





It also seems to me the coach tried really hard to make the purpose of the trip clear and to keep the school out of it beyond using the bus - which he paid for.  Maybe the town is to small to have rentable busses.  I don't know.





I get the feeling the boys ages were left out on purpose to stir the shit pot.  No one is going to be upset if they're 16, 17, or 18 yrs old for deciding to be baptised.





The Ammons woman clearly states her son was being raised to make a decision between baptism and catholicism when he was 18.  Ronnie Hills Ministries is either Baptist or Baptist based from what I can tell on the website.  I think alot of is going to come down to the age of the boys to decide who was right or wrong.





A lot of people discuss their private lives during football practice, tennis games, ping pong etc.  Its obviously a small town since some of the parents of the footballers were there and so was the superintendent as regular attendees of the church.  Maybe the coach was just talking with students who attended his church, maybe some of the boys who were going anyway brought it up and the coach organised it as a responsible adult? 





We aren't going to know until more information is released.





The actions of a Kentucky high school football coach have been questioned after he took nearly two dozen players on a field trip to an evangelist church service where nearly half the kids were baptized.



A Kentucky high school football coach raised eyebrows when he took several players to an evangelist church service where they were baptized.



Breckinridge County High School Coach Scott Mooney last month used a public school bus to transport the kids approximately 35 miles but arranged for a volunteer driver and promised to pay for the gas himself, according to Superintendent Janet Meeks, who attended the service and witnessed the baptisms of her public school students.



"It was completely voluntary," Meeks told ABCNews.com, noting that of the team's 46 players, about 20 elected to go on the trip. Of those attendees, nine were baptized.



"They didn't get anything for attending," she said. "They didn't get anything for not attending."



The mothers of one of the baptized boys has said publicly that she was upset to learn her son had been baptized without her consent on a trip sponsored by a public school employee.



"Nobody should push their faith on anybody else," Michelle Ammons told the Louisville Courier-Journal." They have no right to take my son on a school bus across county lines to a church to be baptized."



But Meeks said that Ammons was the only parent to express disatisfaction with the trip. A couple of parents were in church at the time of the service.



The purpose of the outing was to see noted evangelist Ronnie Hill, and that was seemingly known to every parent but Ammons, Meeks said. Since the trip, school officials have spoken with Ammons in an effort to rectify the situation, but Ammons told the Courier-Journal that she is considering legal action.



Mooney, the school's coach for the last few years, she said, "talked with the kids a few times about what the trip invoved."



Mooney did not immediately return phone and e-mail messages.



No permission slips were issued, she said, because "it wasn't considered a school-sponsored event."



Bill Sharp, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, said the trip seemed to violate the Supreme Court's separation of church and state clause, especially since the coach likely discussed the trip with students during practices.



"The message conveyed to the students is there's an official endorsement," Sharp told ABCNews.com.



"There's certainly a coersive element," he said. "He's in a position of authority."



Kentucky, in the heart of the Bible Belt, has been the source of previous complaints about government encroachment on the promotion of religious viewpoints, Sharp said.



Though he could not confirm or deny if the American Civil Liberties Unio of Kentucky was investigating the Breckinridge County High School incident or if any complaints had been filed, Sharp said that "religious issues and religious liberty in general are a frequent topic of debate here in Kentucky."



But Meeks said she did not see the trip as pushing religious beliefs on anyone.



"The intent was all good. It's unfortunate it's gotten to this," Meeks said. "Certainly it was not our intent to violate anyone's rights."



Football Baptism: Brainwashing or Team Bonding?
Ammons, who could not be reached for comment, told the Courier-Journal that while she was raised Baptist and her husband Catholic, they wanted their son to wait until he was 18 to make religious decisions for himself.



"We felt he was brainwashed," she told the newspaper.



Meeks said that all the boys who were baptized did so of their own volition. The superintendent said she was at the church for her own personal religious experience and not as the school official. She said the boys' baptism involved complete immersion, meaning the students were fully dunked in a large pool of water.



"It was a decision they made to do," she said, adding that the kids who went on the trip seemed to enjoy themselves. "They really acted like they had a great time. I heard they talked about it all the way home."



Hill, she said, is known for speaking at NASCAR-sponsored events. On his Web site for Ronnie Hill Ministries, the homepage says that "Ronnie preaches an anointed but simple message of salvation and repentance; that it's the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and that through His blood alone, we are saved."



Lisa Gross, spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department of Education, said that while state law prohibits teachers or school employees from preaching or imposing their own beliefs in the classroom, Mooney's field trip "is a little different."



The state's law bans "adult-led religious activities," she said, but only in a school setting. There are no such provisions for extracurricular activities. And the districts generally have a wide-berth when it comes to handling such trips.



"There's no state law that says you have to have a policy related specifically to this," she said.



It remains to be seen whether the controversy over Mooney's field trip will mean policy changes at the school. Meeks, in her first year as superintendent, said she would "wait and see" if anything is done differently in the future.



Sharon - posted on 09/10/2009

11,585

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1314



Ok in reading this article, I've tried to highlight the points everyone has contention with.





Maybe the coach was wrong in inviting the kids but its apparent to me the Ammons kid hid this from his parents in order to attend.  I also don't see mention of his age or if he was JV or Varsity.  If he was 17 yrs old then I think his mother was a fruit cake, if he is 14 yrs old then I can see an argument for coersion etc.





It also seems to me the coach tried really hard to make the purpose of the trip clear and to keep the school out of it beyond using the bus - which he paid for.  Maybe the town is to small to have rentable busses.  I don't know.





I get the feeling the boys ages were left out on purpose to stir the shit pot.  No one is going to be upset if they're 16, 17, or 18 yrs old for deciding to be baptised.





The Ammons woman clearly states her son was being raised to make a decision between baptism and catholicism when he was 18.  Ronnie Hills Ministries is either Baptist or Baptist based from what I can tell on the website.  I think alot of is going to come down to the age of the boys to decide who was right or wrong.





A lot of people discuss their private lives during football practice, tennis games, ping pong etc.  Its obviously a small town since some of the parents of the footballers were there and so was the superintendent as regular attendees of the church.  Maybe the coach was just talking with students who attended his church, maybe some of the boys who were going anyway brought it up and the coach organised it as a responsible adult? 





We aren't going to know until more information is released.





The actions of a Kentucky high school football coach have been questioned after he took nearly two dozen players on a field trip to an evangelist church service where nearly half the kids were baptized.



A Kentucky high school football coach raised eyebrows when he took several players to an evangelist church service where they were baptized.



Breckinridge County High School Coach Scott Mooney last month used a public school bus to transport the kids approximately 35 miles but arranged for a volunteer driver and promised to pay for the gas himself, according to Superintendent Janet Meeks, who attended the service and witnessed the baptisms of her public school students.



"It was completely voluntary," Meeks told ABCNews.com, noting that of the team's 46 players, about 20 elected to go on the trip. Of those attendees, nine were baptized.



"They didn't get anything for attending," she said. "They didn't get anything for not attending."



The mothers of one of the baptized boys has said publicly that she was upset to learn her son had been baptized without her consent on a trip sponsored by a public school employee.



"Nobody should push their faith on anybody else," Michelle Ammons told the Louisville Courier-Journal." They have no right to take my son on a school bus across county lines to a church to be baptized."



But Meeks said that Ammons was the only parent to express disatisfaction with the trip. A couple of parents were in church at the time of the service.



The purpose of the outing was to see noted evangelist Ronnie Hill, and that was seemingly known to every parent but Ammons, Meeks said. Since the trip, school officials have spoken with Ammons in an effort to rectify the situation, but Ammons told the Courier-Journal that she is considering legal action.



Mooney, the school's coach for the last few years, she said, "talked with the kids a few times about what the trip invoved."



Mooney did not immediately return phone and e-mail messages.



No permission slips were issued, she said, because "it wasn't considered a school-sponsored event."



Bill Sharp, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, said the trip seemed to violate the Supreme Court's separation of church and state clause, especially since the coach likely discussed the trip with students during practices.



"The message conveyed to the students is there's an official endorsement," Sharp told ABCNews.com.



"There's certainly a coersive element," he said. "He's in a position of authority."



Kentucky, in the heart of the Bible Belt, has been the source of previous complaints about government encroachment on the promotion of religious viewpoints, Sharp said.



Though he could not confirm or deny if the American Civil Liberties Unio of Kentucky was investigating the Breckinridge County High School incident or if any complaints had been filed, Sharp said that "religious issues and religious liberty in general are a frequent topic of debate here in Kentucky."



But Meeks said she did not see the trip as pushing religious beliefs on anyone.



"The intent was all good. It's unfortunate it's gotten to this," Meeks said. "Certainly it was not our intent to violate anyone's rights."



Football Baptism: Brainwashing or Team Bonding?
Ammons, who could not be reached for comment, told the Courier-Journal that while she was raised Baptist and her husband Catholic, they wanted their son to wait until he was 18 to make religious decisions for himself.



"We felt he was brainwashed," she told the newspaper.



Meeks said that all the boys who were baptized did so of their own volition. The superintendent said she was at the church for her own personal religious experience and not as the school official. She said the boys' baptism involved complete immersion, meaning the students were fully dunked in a large pool of water.



"It was a decision they made to do," she said, adding that the kids who went on the trip seemed to enjoy themselves. "They really acted like they had a great time. I heard they talked about it all the way home."



Hill, she said, is known for speaking at NASCAR-sponsored events. On his Web site for Ronnie Hill Ministries, the homepage says that "Ronnie preaches an anointed but simple message of salvation and repentance; that it's the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and that through His blood alone, we are saved."



Lisa Gross, spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department of Education, said that while state law prohibits teachers or school employees from preaching or imposing their own beliefs in the classroom, Mooney's field trip "is a little different."



The state's law bans "adult-led religious activities," she said, but only in a school setting. There are no such provisions for extracurricular activities. And the districts generally have a wide-berth when it comes to handling such trips.



"There's no state law that says you have to have a policy related specifically to this," she said.



It remains to be seen whether the controversy over Mooney's field trip will mean policy changes at the school. Meeks, in her first year as superintendent, said she would "wait and see" if anything is done differently in the future.



Sharon - posted on 09/10/2009

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1314



Ok in reading this article, I've tried to highlight the points everyone has contention with.





Maybe the coach was wrong in inviting the kids but its apparent to me the Ammons kid hid this from his parents in order to attend.  I also don't see mention of his age or if he was JV or Varsity.  If he was 17 yrs old then I think his mother was a fruit cake, if he is 14 yrs old then I can see an argument for coersion etc.





It also seems to me the coach tried really hard to make the purpose of the trip clear and to keep the school out of it beyond using the bus - which he paid for.  Maybe the town is to small to have rentable busses.  I don't know.





I get the feeling the boys ages were left out on purpose to stir the shit pot.  No one is going to be upset if they're 16, 17, or 18 yrs old for deciding to be baptised.





The Ammons woman clearly states her son was being raised to make a decision between baptism and catholicism when he was 18.  Ronnie Hills Ministries is either Baptist or Baptist based from what I can tell on the website.  I think alot of is going to come down to the age of the boys to decide who was right or wrong.





A lot of people discuss their private lives during football practice, tennis games, ping pong etc.  Its obviously a small town since some of the parents of the footballers were there and so was the superintendent as regular attendees of the church.  Maybe the coach was just talking with students who attended his church, maybe some of the boys who were going anyway brought it up and the coach organised it as a responsible adult? 





We aren't going to know until more information is released.





The actions of a Kentucky high school football coach have been questioned after he took nearly two dozen players on a field trip to an evangelist church service where nearly half the kids were baptized.



A Kentucky high school football coach raised eyebrows when he took several players to an evangelist church service where they were baptized.



Breckinridge County High School Coach Scott Mooney last month used a public school bus to transport the kids approximately 35 miles but arranged for a volunteer driver and promised to pay for the gas himself, according to Superintendent Janet Meeks, who attended the service and witnessed the baptisms of her public school students.



"It was completely voluntary," Meeks told ABCNews.com, noting that of the team's 46 players, about 20 elected to go on the trip. Of those attendees, nine were baptized.



"They didn't get anything for attending," she said. "They didn't get anything for not attending."



The mothers of one of the baptized boys has said publicly that she was upset to learn her son had been baptized without her consent on a trip sponsored by a public school employee.



"Nobody should push their faith on anybody else," Michelle Ammons told the Louisville Courier-Journal." They have no right to take my son on a school bus across county lines to a church to be baptized."



But Meeks said that Ammons was the only parent to express disatisfaction with the trip. A couple of parents were in church at the time of the service.



The purpose of the outing was to see noted evangelist Ronnie Hill, and that was seemingly known to every parent but Ammons, Meeks said. Since the trip, school officials have spoken with Ammons in an effort to rectify the situation, but Ammons told the Courier-Journal that she is considering legal action.



Mooney, the school's coach for the last few years, she said, "talked with the kids a few times about what the trip invoved."



Mooney did not immediately return phone and e-mail messages.



No permission slips were issued, she said, because "it wasn't considered a school-sponsored event."



Bill Sharp, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, said the trip seemed to violate the Supreme Court's separation of church and state clause, especially since the coach likely discussed the trip with students during practices.



"The message conveyed to the students is there's an official endorsement," Sharp told ABCNews.com.



"There's certainly a coersive element," he said. "He's in a position of authority."



Kentucky, in the heart of the Bible Belt, has been the source of previous complaints about government encroachment on the promotion of religious viewpoints, Sharp said.



Though he could not confirm or deny if the American Civil Liberties Unio of Kentucky was investigating the Breckinridge County High School incident or if any complaints had been filed, Sharp said that "religious issues and religious liberty in general are a frequent topic of debate here in Kentucky."



But Meeks said she did not see the trip as pushing religious beliefs on anyone.



"The intent was all good. It's unfortunate it's gotten to this," Meeks said. "Certainly it was not our intent to violate anyone's rights."



Football Baptism: Brainwashing or Team Bonding?
Ammons, who could not be reached for comment, told the Courier-Journal that while she was raised Baptist and her husband Catholic, they wanted their son to wait until he was 18 to make religious decisions for himself.



"We felt he was brainwashed," she told the newspaper.



Meeks said that all the boys who were baptized did so of their own volition. The superintendent said she was at the church for her own personal religious experience and not as the school official. She said the boys' baptism involved complete immersion, meaning the students were fully dunked in a large pool of water.



"It was a decision they made to do," she said, adding that the kids who went on the trip seemed to enjoy themselves. "They really acted like they had a great time. I heard they talked about it all the way home."



Hill, she said, is known for speaking at NASCAR-sponsored events. On his Web site for Ronnie Hill Ministries, the homepage says that "Ronnie preaches an anointed but simple message of salvation and repentance; that it's the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and that through His blood alone, we are saved."



Lisa Gross, spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department of Education, said that while state law prohibits teachers or school employees from preaching or imposing their own beliefs in the classroom, Mooney's field trip "is a little different."



The state's law bans "adult-led religious activities," she said, but only in a school setting. There are no such provisions for extracurricular activities. And the districts generally have a wide-berth when it comes to handling such trips.



"There's no state law that says you have to have a policy related specifically to this," she said.



It remains to be seen whether the controversy over Mooney's field trip will mean policy changes at the school. Meeks, in her first year as superintendent, said she would "wait and see" if anything is done differently in the future.



Sharon - posted on 09/10/2009

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Ok in reading this article, I've tried to highlight the points everyone has contention with.





Maybe the coach was wrong in inviting the kids but its apparent to me the Ammons kid hid this from his parents in order to attend.  I also don't see mention of his age or if he was JV or Varsity.  If he was 17 yrs old then I think his mother was a fruit cake, if he is 14 yrs old then I can see an argument for coersion etc.





It also seems to me the coach tried really hard to make the purpose of the trip clear and to keep the school out of it beyond using the bus - which he paid for.  Maybe the town is to small to have rentable busses.  I don't know.





I get the feeling the boys ages were left out on purpose to stir the shit pot.  No one is going to be upset if they're 16, 17, or 18 yrs old for deciding to be baptised.





The Ammons woman clearly states her son was being raised to make a decision between baptism and catholicism when he was 18.  Ronnie Hills Ministries is either Baptist or Baptist based from what I can tell on the website.  I think alot of is going to come down to the age of the boys to decide who was right or wrong.





A lot of people discuss their private lives during football practice, tennis games, ping pong etc.  Its obviously a small town since some of the parents of the footballers were there and so was the superintendent as regular attendees of the church.  Maybe the coach was just talking with students who attended his church, maybe some of the boys who were going anyway brought it up and the coach organised it as a responsible adult? 





We aren't going to know until more information is released.





The actions of a Kentucky high school football coach have been questioned after he took nearly two dozen players on a field trip to an evangelist church service where nearly half the kids were baptized.



A Kentucky high school football coach raised eyebrows when he took several players to an evangelist church service where they were baptized.



Breckinridge County High School Coach Scott Mooney last month used a public school bus to transport the kids approximately 35 miles but arranged for a volunteer driver and promised to pay for the gas himself, according to Superintendent Janet Meeks, who attended the service and witnessed the baptisms of her public school students.



"It was completely voluntary," Meeks told ABCNews.com, noting that of the team's 46 players, about 20 elected to go on the trip. Of those attendees, nine were baptized.



"They didn't get anything for attending," she said. "They didn't get anything for not attending."



The mothers of one of the baptized boys has said publicly that she was upset to learn her son had been baptized without her consent on a trip sponsored by a public school employee.



"Nobody should push their faith on anybody else," Michelle Ammons told the Louisville Courier-Journal." They have no right to take my son on a school bus across county lines to a church to be baptized."



But Meeks said that Ammons was the only parent to express disatisfaction with the trip. A couple of parents were in church at the time of the service.



The purpose of the outing was to see noted evangelist Ronnie Hill, and that was seemingly known to every parent but Ammons, Meeks said. Since the trip, school officials have spoken with Ammons in an effort to rectify the situation, but Ammons told the Courier-Journal that she is considering legal action.



Mooney, the school's coach for the last few years, she said, "talked with the kids a few times about what the trip invoved."



Mooney did not immediately return phone and e-mail messages.



No permission slips were issued, she said, because "it wasn't considered a school-sponsored event."



Bill Sharp, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, said the trip seemed to violate the Supreme Court's separation of church and state clause, especially since the coach likely discussed the trip with students during practices.



"The message conveyed to the students is there's an official endorsement," Sharp told ABCNews.com.



"There's certainly a coersive element," he said. "He's in a position of authority."



Kentucky, in the heart of the Bible Belt, has been the source of previous complaints about government encroachment on the promotion of religious viewpoints, Sharp said.



Though he could not confirm or deny if the American Civil Liberties Unio of Kentucky was investigating the Breckinridge County High School incident or if any complaints had been filed, Sharp said that "religious issues and religious liberty in general are a frequent topic of debate here in Kentucky."



But Meeks said she did not see the trip as pushing religious beliefs on anyone.



"The intent was all good. It's unfortunate it's gotten to this," Meeks said. "Certainly it was not our intent to violate anyone's rights."



Football Baptism: Brainwashing or Team Bonding?
Ammons, who could not be reached for comment, told the Courier-Journal that while she was raised Baptist and her husband Catholic, they wanted their son to wait until he was 18 to make religious decisions for himself.



"We felt he was brainwashed," she told the newspaper.



Meeks said that all the boys who were baptized did so of their own volition. The superintendent said she was at the church for her own personal religious experience and not as the school official. She said the boys' baptism involved complete immersion, meaning the students were fully dunked in a large pool of water.



"It was a decision they made to do," she said, adding that the kids who went on the trip seemed to enjoy themselves. "They really acted like they had a great time. I heard they talked about it all the way home."



Hill, she said, is known for speaking at NASCAR-sponsored events. On his Web site for Ronnie Hill Ministries, the homepage says that "Ronnie preaches an anointed but simple message of salvation and repentance; that it's the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and that through His blood alone, we are saved."



Lisa Gross, spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department of Education, said that while state law prohibits teachers or school employees from preaching or imposing their own beliefs in the classroom, Mooney's field trip "is a little different."



The state's law bans "adult-led religious activities," she said, but only in a school setting. There are no such provisions for extracurricular activities. And the districts generally have a wide-berth when it comes to handling such trips.



"There's no state law that says you have to have a policy related specifically to this," she said.



It remains to be seen whether the controversy over Mooney's field trip will mean policy changes at the school. Meeks, in her first year as superintendent, said she would "wait and see" if anything is done differently in the future.



Jenny - posted on 09/10/2009

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I could see a tour of the building for architectual purposes. Just no Jesus talk.

Evelyn - posted on 09/10/2009

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Ehh...I'm up in the air about whether or not it was approriate to bring them to a church. As a student on Long Island, we took quite a few field trips to NYC and on more than one occassion ended up at St. Peter's Cathedral...but a revival? I don't know if that counts as a "field trip".

[deleted account]

It definitely wasn't appropriate, because it crosses the boundaries that the Supreme Court has quite clearly established with regard to religion and public schools. Whether or not the parents are okay with it doesn't matter - the issue is Constitutional law, not permission slips. This district will be on the losing end of a lawsuit if any of the parents decide to take action.

Jenny - posted on 09/10/2009

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I don't think it was appropriate to ask for a trip to a church in the first place at a public school.

Sharon - posted on 09/10/2009

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Oh and to be clear - I have NO issues with my kids learning about other religions. I would approve a trip with a trusted adult to visit any reputable religious organisation.

Sharon - posted on 09/10/2009

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Again, all the parents knew - only one says she didn't know.



the coach paid for the bus/gas - no one was complaining before, so why are they complaining now?



IF someone took my child without my permission I'd be pissed too, if they converted my child judaism on the same trip they took my child to a synagogue I'd be really pissed. But from what I'm reading everyone knew what the plan was except this one mom. To use a school bus BUT it was paid for with the coach's funds. it didn't happen during school hours, or on school property so there is a seperation of church & school.

Brenda - posted on 09/10/2009

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Ok, did anyone take into account the religious consequences of such an action? I was raised in a VERY, strict religious home and had my coach taken me out and had I decided to get baptized into another church, my parents would have KILLED ME. You have to understand that my parents church and its members would have considered this to be a HUGE SIN-- a sin equivalent to MURDER. No, I am not kidding. Had I chosen to be baptized into a Baptist church, I would have been excommunicated. So this is VERY serious for some families because of their own religious views.

Brenda - posted on 09/10/2009

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WOW. I would have the principal, the teacher, the church and the school district for breakfast. I would own that damn town by the time I was done. I am not the kind of person to run around threatening a law suit, but WOW. I would destroy them financially and make sure they never had a job with children again.

ME - posted on 09/10/2009

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I don't think the coach should have done this, but I certainly think that teenagers are old enough to make religious decisions on their own. If they had not been put in the situation by a person who clearly had some power and influence in their lives (ie, football coach), then I wouldn't care...I don't think teens need their parents permission to join a religion...but I do think that a couch needs the parents permission to take them to such and event in the first place!

Konda - posted on 09/10/2009

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Let me add Lindsay that they took a school bus, that makes it a school funded trip...and the principal knew about it and was all for it....UNTIL she was faced with the news cameras....oh and she is a member of the church too.

Amie - posted on 09/10/2009

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Ok I'm going to add something now that my mind is thinking clearer that I haven't read in any other post.

Where were the permission slips?! Here NO CHILD no matter their age is allowed to leave school property, for a school trip or any other type of trip, without that piece of paper being signed.

SO that being said.

STILL wrong. I would be livid and you better believe the principal, superintendent and the school board would be hearing from a very loud angry mom.

Johnny - posted on 09/10/2009

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I would be enraged and threatening a lawsuit. Religion has absolutely no place in a public school aside from a Comparative Religions course in high school or stories in elementary school. And certainly not acceptable when an individual who is in a position of such authority uses it to underhandedly baptize children. I will actively protect my child from this kind of proselytizing until she is old enough to discuss complex philosophical issues.

I feel so strongly about this, partly due to the fact that our family are humanists and agnostics, but also partly due to my own childhood experiences. I decided at the age of 12 to learn about religion and decided to attend bible study on my own. My parents supported my decision, and when I said I wanted to be baptized, the church approached my parents and spoke to them first. They gave their support, not because they agreed with it, but because they felt it was my right to choose my own faith. The church went about things the proper way and I respect that.

However, being 12, it didn't last long. When the cute boy from school that I joined bible study to be with stopped going to church, so did I. And because truthfully, I'd never felt any sort of faith or belief in what they were teaching. So a year or so later the Mormons approached me while I was walking home from school. They offered to take me to McDonald's the next day after school if I would meet with them and talk about the "Heavenly Father". So I did. Everything was done behind my parents back, and it was even suggested to me that if they wouldn't be supportive, I shouldn't tell them about becoming a Mormon. Luckily for me, my parents found out, and intervened before I got too involved. They were furious and called the local group to complain. The Mormons told me nothing about many parts of their religion and practices, just the happy parts that a 13 year old girl would want to hear. Completely deceptive.

Perhaps this is why I have such disdain for missionaries to this day, and for people like this football coach who push their religion on young people. "Save" yourselves, don't involve my children!

Lindsay - posted on 09/10/2009

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Yes I was in sports in high school. I respected my coaches but just because they believed a certain way I didn't follow suit.



He did not take the high schoolers to be baptized but to listen to a speaker. It was optional. The school did not fund it so it was not a school function. Some of the high schoolers wanted to get baptized and they did. Others did not. That's the simplest way I can put it.

We are just going to have to agree to disagree on this one because we both obviously have very different opinions on this one! =)

Konda - posted on 09/10/2009

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Lindsay have you ever played on a sports team? I have and it was a girl's team and that doesn't even compare to being on a male sport's team and having the coach tell you something....just look at the kid that just died in the heat. Coaches have a power over their player that is just unreal, especially football and any male sport. So, no, none of us know if they were 'forced' or not. Like I said, I was so ashamed as a kid when I was told I was going to hell for 'their reasons' that I went home wanting to be 'saved'. I don't want religion pushed on my child, I will teach them what I want them to know and at 18, yes 18, they can decide for themselves if they want to continue with what I have taught them or if they want to look else where.

Lindsay - posted on 09/10/2009

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Quoting Konda:

May I ask what religion those of you that 'don't see the fuss' are? And how you would feel if your child was taken to a Catholic church and baptized or to Jewish synagogue, or Muslim?? Would you still see 'no reason to fuss'?

As a child I grew up in a 99% protestant area, and we didn't have VBS, so I'd go with my friends, I was told as a child that I was going to hell for 'worshiping Mary' and 'for not being saved'. Yes, I was a child, but I can see a teen being pressured into such things, especially by a COACH. A school does not have the right to bring my child to a church function with or without parental permission during a school function and on a school bus...there is a separation of church and state for a reason in the US and this is one of those reasons.



I was raised Catholic but rarely go to mass anymore except on Holidays. It could be that I don't see the fuss because I was raised to be open-minded. I could also have to do with the fact that I have never attended a public school in my life so maybe I just don't "get it". We were exposed to many different religions and ways of life as kids. I just don't see where there was any force with any of this nad that's why I don't have a problem with it. If he was making them go, that would be a totally different situation!

Brenda - posted on 09/10/2009

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Quoting Sharon:



Quoting Konda:

May I ask what religion those of you that 'don't see the fuss' are? And how you would feel if your child was taken to a Catholic church and baptized or to Jewish synagogue, or Muslim?? Would you still see 'no reason to fuss'?

As a child I grew up in a 99% protestant area, and we didn't have VBS, so I'd go with my friends, I was told as a child that I was going to hell for 'worshiping Mary' and 'for not being saved'. Yes, I was a child, but I can see a teen being pressured into such things, especially by a COACH. A school does not have the right to bring my child to a church function with or without parental permission during a school function and on a school bus...there is a separation of church and state for a reason in the US and this is one of those reasons.






I consider myself generic christian - I don't subscribe to baptist protestant or whatever.






I don't see the big deal because every one of the other parents said they knew about the trip - only one is claiming to not know about the trip.  Seems like she just wants to stir the shit pot or her son deceived her more than the coach did.





OH MY LORD!! Wasn't there some sort of paperwork that should have been sent home to be SIGNED saying the parents were giving their permission to have their children BAPTIZED?! And as a parent who would have "known", I would assume they would want to be a part of their child's baptism! WTF!! This is just so offensive and outrageous to me. The church needs to be accountable as well, financially and otherwise, because they had no business baptizing any child without the parents signed consent. This is rediculous.



I don't care WHAT religion it is... it could be the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster for all I care-- but they sure as hell better have my signature on the dotted line before they sprinkle, dunk or so much as touch my kid!

Konda - posted on 09/10/2009

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Quoting Sharon:










I consider myself generic christian - I don't subscribe to baptist protestant or whatever.






I don't see the big deal because every one of the other parents said they knew about the trip - only one is claiming to not know about the trip.  Seems like she just wants to stir the shit pot or her son deceived her more than the coach did.





I disagree 100%, I don't care if 1 or 100 kids and parents complained...there is no place for religion in school unless you send your child to a private/religious school.

Brenda - posted on 09/10/2009

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My mother in law pulled this same crap with my son when he was two months old... took him to her pastor and had him baptized without my consent. She was backhanded and sneaky and convinced my husband (who was with them when it happened) that it would be ok.
Religion is a SUUUUPER sensitive issue for me, so you really don't want to get me started, but this IS a HUGE deal and I would have that coaches ass, his job and the school district would be paying through the nose.

Jocelyn - posted on 09/10/2009

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Wow, that is so out of line. I would be furious!!! Who does that coach think he is? What gave him the right to take kids to get baptized? especially using public school funds/bus. He should be fired, plain and simple. I know how close you can get to others in a group setting during school, and the coach totally took advantage of their trust. For me, if my son came home and told me the coach had taken them to get baptized, it would be the same as if he had said that the coach had made a move on him. A complete and utter violation of trust.

Sharon - posted on 09/10/2009

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Quoting Konda:

May I ask what religion those of you that 'don't see the fuss' are? And how you would feel if your child was taken to a Catholic church and baptized or to Jewish synagogue, or Muslim?? Would you still see 'no reason to fuss'?

As a child I grew up in a 99% protestant area, and we didn't have VBS, so I'd go with my friends, I was told as a child that I was going to hell for 'worshiping Mary' and 'for not being saved'. Yes, I was a child, but I can see a teen being pressured into such things, especially by a COACH. A school does not have the right to bring my child to a church function with or without parental permission during a school function and on a school bus...there is a separation of church and state for a reason in the US and this is one of those reasons.



I consider myself generic christian - I don't subscribe to baptist protestant or whatever.



I don't see the big deal because every one of the other parents said they knew about the trip - only one is claiming to not know about the trip.  Seems like she just wants to stir the shit pot or her son deceived her more than the coach did.

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