Vail Daily’s View: Strong stand on faith group at school
Vail, CO, Colorado
The Constitution-weight policy that keeps evangelists, prayer and the Ten Commandments out of public schools is not antireligion but pro-children.
A school day is packed with too many academic and social pressures for a child whose family may subscribe to a less-populated faith, or no organized faith, to feel pressured or excluded by anyone else’s religion.
The Eagle County School District quickly responded to a misstep last week when it realized the Strength Team, a evangelical group it had allowed to hold assemblies during the school day, was promoting nighttime events with overtly Christian content.
Fliers handed out during the daytime, which featured athletes performing tricks such as breaking bricks, did not mention that the nighttime assembly – which can be held legally at a public school – would involve prayer and creationism.
The Strength Team said it was not trying to be sneaky by slipping a secular assembly in during the day to promote its event touting its religious theme at night. The group said parents who got the flier could have checked its Web site and seen it was a religious group.
But parents should not have to be the guard dogs over school district-sanctioned events during class time.
A group focused on proselytizing bears responsibility to be clear about that, and a public school district needs to be careful, of course, about what it sanctions and under what circumstances.
Some parents were rightfully unhappy, and the schools reacted quickly, telling the religious group it could not promote its nighttime sessions at assemblies held during class time.
Eagle County’s public schools must remain a place where parents can feel comfortable that their children are exposed to, but not excluded by, a wide range of beliefs.
Vail Daily Editorial Board