In East Baton Rouge Parish. La., high school students were told they could attend a college and career fair. What they got was a dose of fundamentalist Christian proselytizing.
During the Sept. 20 event, which took place in a church, students were separated by gender and given inaccurate, simplistic messages about human sexuality. Non-binary and transgender students said they felt great discomfort.
Parents were not told this event would be religious. In a letter to school officials, Americans United warned that school support of programs like this must be terminated immediately.
Mission one for public schools is to ensure that all students feel welcome and respected. How, where, whether and when students worship is no business of school officials. Decisions like that belong in the hands of parents.
Officials in this particular district have lost sight of an important principle: Objective study about religion as an academic subject in public schools is fine; proselytism and promotion of specific faiths are not.
It’s time for this school to get back on track and put the focus where it belongs: offering strictly secular education.