On Monday, January 28 at 2:15 pm all students at Powell High School were removed from their fourth period classes to attend a general assembly for the purpose of learning about a 4-day event now underway at Grace Baptist Church. At the end of the assembly and before school dismissal, representatives of the church distributed tickets to the event, which runs from January 27 through January 31, according to the tickets my daughter brought home.
The event underway at Grace Baptist this week is a series of evening programs being presented by the Grace Student Ministries ((link...), according to the tickets) and featuring Ken Freeman, whom my daughter described as being a "motivational speaker." Students attending will have the chance to win "free stuff," acording to the tickets, including "iPods, a flat screen TV, an X-Box 360, portable DVD players, and iTunes gift cards."
It was Mr. Freeman who spoke to students during the school assembly. When I questioned my daughter about his remarks during the assembly, she replied that it did not appear to her that they were evangelical in any way, nor did she recall his making any reference to religion. It was her impression that Mr. Freeman was more intent on encouraging youth to "make good choices" generally.
However, when I asked a Powell High administrator this morning whether the Grace Baptist event underway is of a more evangelical and/or religious nature, he replied "Oh, it is."
Given that confirmation, I asked the administrator why this invitation from Grace Baptist was not extended through some before or after school channel, rather than through a general assembly during school hours. He indicated that it was because "nobody would come." He added that the general assembly was approved by school system personnel.
With the information I have right now, I am thinking that Grace Baptist inappropriately marketed a captive audience of Powell High students during school hours and that the administrative decision to extend this invitation through a general assembly of students constitutes an abuse of the authority adult school employees have over these youth.
What are your thoughts?
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