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Students walk out in protest after public school holds Christian revival

Over 100 students, senior Max Nibert, walked out in protest from their West Virginia High School after teachers instructed them to attend an evangelical Christian revival assembly.

Nibert and other students planned the walkout for Wednesday, and students left their classrooms chanting, “Separate the church and state” and “My faith, my choice.” 

Once students arrived in the Huntington High School auditorium, they were apparently told to close their eyes and lift up their arms in prayer, according to 16-year-old Cameron Mays. They were then asked to give their lives to Jesus in order to find their purpose and salvation.

Mays said they were told that whoever did not follow the Bible would be sent to hell when they died. The student sent a text to his father asking, “Is this legal?”

Nibert noted that separation of church and state is a founding tenet of the country. “Just to see that defamed and ignored in such a blatant way, it’s disheartening,” he said.

The senior at Huntington High School as well as other students then staged a walkout during their homeroom period to protest the assembly. School security personnel turned away any reporters who were attempting to cover the events of the demonstration.

“I don’t think any kind of religious official should be hosted in a taxpayer-funded building with the express purpose of trying to convince minors to become baptized after school hours,” Nibert added. He held a sign during the walkout that read, “My rights are non-negotiable.”

The revival ceremony took place last week during COMPASS, which is the schools daily, “noninstructional” period in the schedule that students can use to study for tests, work on college preparation, or attend lectures by guest speakers, said Cabell County Schools spokesperson Jedd Flowers.

He said that the event was voluntary and had been organized by the school’s chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Flowers noted that there was supposed to be a sign up for students, but two teachers mistakenly brought their whole classes. “It’s unfortunate that it happened,” Flowers continued, “We don’t believe it will ever happen again.” 

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: RELIGIONNEWS.COM

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