An Oklahoma public school has updated its policy to protect students from religious coercion, thanks to FFRF.
A concerned parent within Owasso Public Schools in Owasso, Okla., informed FFRF that Owasso Seventh Grade Center was allowing representatives from LifeChurch, an evangelical church, to enter the school during Wednesday lunches to hand out church flyers and proselytize to students. The representatives were also pestering students and asking them why they were not going to church.
“It is inappropriate and unconstitutional for the district to offer religious leaders unique access to befriend and proselytize students during the school day on school property,” wrote FFRF Patrick O’Reiley Legal Fellow Chris Line. “It is well settled that public schools may not advance or promote religion.”
Owasso Public Schools responded on May 29, informing FFRF that there would be no more in-person proselytizing going forward.
The district has since implemented a new policy requiring school visitors to receive permission from Owasso Seventh Grade Center Principal Eric Nantois. Additionally, school visitors will only be able to speak with one student per lunch period and must obtain written permission from that student’s parent.