FFRF stops Christian film from airing in public school (March 14, 2014)

A school in New York will no longer show the Christian film, “How to Save a Life,” in a sophomore health class. FFRF received the complaint from a parent of a high school student at Jamesville-DeWitt Central School District, DeWitt, N.Y.

FFRF Senior Staff Attorney Rebecca Markert sent a letter to the Jamesville-DeWitt Central School District pointing out the constitutional problems with showing Christians films to a captive audience of students:

“The film tells the story of a high school basketball star named Jake who loses a former friend to suicide, and Jake’s path to saving another friend from committing suicide by joining a church group and thus reforming his ways. The film also involves acts of premarital sex, drug and alcohol use, cutting, discussion of abortion and so on. Other films these companies have been involved with have had overt Christian messages, primarily involving accepting Jesus Christ and the Christian religion.”

On March 14, the district informed FFRF that although the film had indeed been shown during the school day, it was an “isolated incident” that does not represent and is not consistent with the school policy.

The district added, “After speaking with the teacher in question, be assured that this film will not be used as a resource in the future.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation