IN District Says Religious Program That Atheists Want to Shut Down Doesn’t Exist

By Hemant Mehta

Earlier this month, the Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to an Indiana school district concerning a problem at Kouts Middle/High School. They claimed that two pastors from Heartland Christian Church were allowed to proselytize to students during their lunch period as part of a program called “Elevate” that used to occur after school.

FFRF wanted to know why these pastors were given access to students during the school day for the purpose of preaching Christianity.

This week, Superintendent Rod Gardin of the East Porter County School Corporation responded to FFRF with a complete dismissal of all their claims.

“In response to your assertion that the school corporation is allowing religious instruction to occur during the school day at Kouts Middle/High School through the Elevate Students program, I analyzed the curriculum used in the program,” Gardin wrote. “There is no religious content in the curriculum. There are no Bible verses, references to any spiritual deity, or any activities that expose students to any religious concepts.”

Gardin even stressed that he watched several video clips that are shown to students to reinforce the concepts they learn from the program. According to Gardin, “all of them were free from any religious content.”

So, sure, these pastors are given access to students during the school day, but not to preach Christianity. Gardin went on to ask FFRF to retract their press release about the program.

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