School Children

Washington School Bans Pastors From Proselytizing

In Church & State, News by Joseph RocherLeave a Comment

Bainbridge Island School District has said it will no longer allow pastors to proselytize students during school hours.  Three pastors, associated with an organization dedicated to promoting Christianity to the youth, were proselytizing students during their lunch break.

After receiving multiple complaints from parents of pastors proselytizing students during school hours, the FFRF sent a letter to the school board stating that “[i]t is both inappropriate and dangerous for schools to grant outsiders carte blanche access to minors — a captive audience — in a public school, let alone have that access to proselytize.”

Danny Smith, one of the youth pastors, said “the only time church may have come in is when they say, ‘What do you do?’ my response is, ‘I’m a youth pastor.’ Even sometimes say I’m a leader because most of the kids don’t know what a youth pastor is.”  He says his reason for being at Woodward Middle School is “not for proselytizing or recruiting, but it’s just there to be there.”  This is a rather creepy argument.  A pastor going to a middle school, to just hang around little kids doesn’t seem appropriate either.

Unfortunately, it seems that this egregious violation has been taking place for years.  It is thanks to the advocacy groups, such as the FFRF, that we are able slowly end the systematic proselytizing of our children in school.