The religious revival happened last week at Huntington High School; the students walked out earlier today as a protest. From AP reporter, Leah Willingham:
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — Between calculus and European history classes at a West Virginia public high school, 16-year-old Cameron Mays and his classmates were told by their teacher to go to an evangelical Christian revival assembly.
When students arrived at the event in the school’s auditorium, they were instructed to close their eyes and raise their arms in prayer, Mays said. The teens were asked to give their lives over to Jesus to find purpose and salvation. Those who did not follow the Bible would go to hell when they died, they were told.
A school official said that the program was supposed to be optional:
[Cabell County Schools spokesperson Jedd] Flowers said the event was voluntary, organized by the school’s chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He said there was supposed to be a signup sheet for students, but two teachers mistakenly brought their entire class.
“It’s unfortunate that it happened,” Flowers said. “We don’t believe it will ever happen again.”
Nibert and other Huntington students staged a walkout during their homeroom period Wednesday to protest the assembly. More than 100 students left their classrooms chanting, “Separate the church and state” and, “My faith, my choice.”
School officials then demonstrated their disdain for other parts of the First Amendment:
School security turned away reporters who tried to cover the demonstration.
I'm sorry, but whether it was required or optional, why was a West Virginia public school giving space to a religious revival during regular school hours?
Update -- Local coverage on February 10
While this story got nationwide coverage, this morning's Wheeling Intelligencer printed only the first one-third of the AP article on page 6.
Additionally, the anti-abortion group's use of Klan imagery to attack WV Delegate Danielle Walker (see previous post) was noted in a picture of Walker that accompanied a front-page article on a House committee's action on an abortion ban.