By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
August 5, 2013
ALBEMARLE — Can public school students legally hand out Bible tracts during lunch? Can a teen-ager be sent home for wearing a pro-life T-shirt if it offends someone else? And isn’t there a rule against kids meeting in their public school library for Bible study?
These questions and many more will be addressed Tuesday, Aug. 20, at West Albemarle Baptist Church during a Students Rights in Public Schools Seminar led by Dr. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina. Tailored to students, parents, teachers, faculty and administrators, the regional event is open to anyone and free of charge.
“Each school year these kinds of questions arise and, all too often, turn controversial,” said the Rev. Creech. “This seminar is an attempt to bring freedom of religion with its checks and balances to the forefront before students head back to school so that everyone is on the same page.”
He said the Stanly County event would also be convenient to folks in surrounding Cabarrus, Montgomery, Mecklenburg and Anson counties as well as others in the central to western parts of the state. Albemarle is about 40 miles northeast of Charlotte.
Daniel Whetstine, director of the Mitchell Baptist Association, which hosted a Students’ Rights in Public Schools Seminar in Spruce Pine last year, said the event met a great need in his area.
“With reports of harassment and intimidation of both teachers and students in the public schools, we felt that the time was right to remind parents, teachers, youth pastors, pastors and all those who may be interested, of the freedoms that teachers and school children are still guaranteed under the First Amendment,” he said. “A child does not have to renounce their faith to get an education, neither does a teacher who works in the school system.”
He described the seminar as “thoroughly researched” and “captivating.”
The Stanly Baptist Association has promoted the 90-minute training to churches throughout the area, however it is not a denominational event.
“We see this as a wonderful opportunity to empower students and teachers who are headed back to school throughout the area, to remind them that they can take their faith with them and to help equip them with the knowledge of how to do so within the parameters of the law,” said the Rev. Adam Hatley, pastor at West Albemarle.
The event will be held in the West Albemarle Baptist Church sanctuary beginning at 7 p.m. on Aug. 20. The church is located at 336 Church St., Albemarle. For more information, phone the church at (704) 982-5127, or call Luanne Williams with the CAL at (704) 550-4188.