Students at a West Virginia public high school were in between classes when they told that they had to attend an evangelical Christian revival service. When they sat down for the assembly, they were told to raise their hands and close their eyes in prayer and give their lives over to Jesus Christ — or face eternal damnation. According to ABC News, 16-year-old Cameron Mays sent a text to his father as he sat through the assembly and asked, “Is this legal?”
As ABC News points out, the assembly was not legal and was a direct violation of the U.S. Constitution, prompting over 100 students to stage a walkout in protest, chanting, “Separate the church and state” and, “My faith, my choice.”
From ABC News:
More than 1,000 students attend Huntington High. The mini revival took place last week during COMPASS, a daily, “noninstructional” break in the schedule during which students can study for tests, work on college prep or listen to guest speakers, said Cabell County Schools spokesperson Jedd Flowers.
Flowers said the event was voluntary, organized by the school’s chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He said there was supposed to be a signup sheet for students, but two teachers mistakenly brought their entire class.
Bethany Felinton said her Jewish son felt he had no choice but to attend the assembly, and when he asked to leave, the teacher told him their classroom door was locked so he had to stay.
“It’s a completely unfair and unacceptable situation to put a teenager in,” she said. “I’m not knocking their faith, but there’s a time and place for everything — and in public schools, during the school day, is not the time and place.”
Read the full report at ABC News.