Ala. school district ends religious assemblies (October 20, 2022)

After hearing from FFRF, an Alabama school district has stopped allowing school assemblies that feature religious speakers.

A concerned parent reported to FFRF that a teacher at Tallassee High School took students into the gym for a religious sermon delivered by a guest speaker. Reportedly, this guest speaker preached to students and attempted to convert them to Christianity, making statements such as, “The bible says you surrender your life. You throw yourself at the mercy of Jesus Christ with your life. Christ paid for my sins. I was on my way to hell. I owe him my life. Hands down.” The guest speaker ended his sermon by leading students in prayer.

“It is unconstitutional to take away instructional time from students to expose them to a Christian proselytizing preacher,” FFRF Staff Attorney Christopher Line wrote to Tallassee City Schools Superintendent Brock Nolin. “It is well settled that public schools may not show favoritism toward or coerce belief or participation in religion.”

A response from the superintendent assured FFRF that this violation will not recur. “This issue has been addressed with the faculty member and administration of the school,” Nolin wrote. “They fully understand the issue at hand and it has been resolved.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation