Wednesday Night Lights

By David Waters A high school football coach in Kentucky used a school bus to take 20 of his players … Continued

By David Waters

A high school football coach in Kentucky used a school bus to take 20 of his players on a “voluntary” trip to his church’s Wednesday night worship service where eight of his players were baptized.

The mother of one of the players who went on the trip and was baptized said both happened without her consent or knowledge. “Nobody should push their faith on anybody else,” Michelle Ammons told the Courier Journal.

Coach Scott Mooney declined to comment about the field trip, but Breckinridge County (Ky.) Supt. Janet Meeks — who as a member of the same church was at the service — defended the trip by saying it was voluntary and another coach paid for the gas. “None of the players were rewarded for going and none were punished for not going,” Meeks said.

Unless you don’t count eternal salvation or damnation as a reward or punishment.

I don’t know where to begin with this one.

Why would a coach take only 20 of the members of his football team on a “team-building” field trip?

Why would a high school coach (a government official) think it was OK to use a school bus (a government vehicle) for such a trip, regardless of who paid for the gas?

Why would any public school official think it would be OK to take any student to any religious gathering without a parent’s permission?

How long would it have taken the entire community of Breckinridge County, Ky., to run the coach and the superintendent out of town on a rail if they had taken players to a mosque or a Hindu temple or a Wiccan magic circle?

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  • kert1

    I feel the same way as this author, “I don’t know where to begin with this one”, but with a much different sentiment. There seems very few details on this situation. Not sure if they are missing, or the author leaves them out. But I see very little that we could even think of criticize here, and certain not anything important enough to discuss outside the community.So we shouldn’t push your beliefs on other people. Really. Well aren’t you pushing your belief on other people, saying we shouldn’t push our belief on other people. As usual, we end up with someone nullifying their own statement. What she really wants is no one pushing other beliefs on her or her family.Since, when is it wrong to invite someone to church. I know this guy was a coach (clearly not a government official), but don’t we want coaches encouraging kids in good ways. I mean, I guess you can hate all religion but that quite a hard stand. Clearly no one was forced to do anything here. What if he had asked them to go to McDonalds; would anyone care? Besides the fact, I believe there is probably something left out. Do you actually think a bunch of non-religious kids when to church only because of a coach. My guess is many of the kids went to the church already and brought along others. The coach probably made the announcement that he would bring anyone who wanted to come.Most of these students were old enough to make their own decisions without direct parental involvement. If they didn’t tell their parents where they were going, is that the coaches fault? It’s not like it was an official event. Anyone is welcome to come to church when it is open. Parents can address these issues with their kids if they want, but it’s not the coaches job to contact parents.And now for the major issue, the Bus. I suppose it might be deemed that using a bus for non-school related activities might be poor management. I do know that buses are sometimes used for other things and so this type of thing is not unprecedented. Really it is up to the school officials and they seemed to have worked out a deal where someone paid for the bus. Honestly doesn’t offend me and I don’t have a problem with a bus being used for other things with permission.Finally, I think that kids at this age have a right to explore other religions if they choose. Again, it is up to the parents to keep track of this. There is a big assumption that kids would also flock to other religions too. I am all for people being more involved with their religious community.

  • footballmom00

    They would of burned them alive and barried them and nobody would even notice.Somebody needs to help this family

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    I don’t really understand how this sort of thing is possible. Whatever slim boundary we once discerned between between religion and state we now rarely see.WE MUST end tax exempt status for institutions or organized religion. WE MUST prosecute, fine those religious institutions that violate the nonprofit code. WE MUST prevent, outlaw religious institutions from lobbying elected officials.Unless we act, much sooner than we think we will be stepping back, way back into the mud of theocracy and mud, it is.

  • homeland1

    WE [i] ALL are Born in MIRACLE! And never via ‘SiN/CURSE’ stories; Re-GODLESS!

  • Alex511

    Had I a child on that bus, I’d be LIVID if he was taken to some “church” that is not of my UMC faith and baptized without my permission.That “coach” needs to be fired, NOW, with NO benefits and NO pension.

  • reznam

    This is so like the religious right to think it’s okay to hijack & lie to a group of teenagers then try to indoctrinate them in their narrow beliefs. These are probably some of the same people who got all bent out of shape over President Obama’s speech to students. Why do they think this is okay? According to the story I saw on CNN they were told they were going to a local steakhouse for dinner. Surprise! How many of those teens felt pressured to stay & participate? This is really outrageous but it’s typical for these kind of people.

  • bob2davis

    Just as we do not tolerate for very long a child’s belief in an invisible friend or Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny or witches or fairies or monsters under the bed, why do we tolerate adults’ insane belief in an invisible god? Any one who spends a rational moment contemplating a god or the resulting religions has to realize that religion is not only a sham but has caused so much devastation over the centuries that it should be banned the world over. The founding fathers included freedom of religion in the constitution because people were being persecuted for their beliefs on religion and other matters. This was merely a clause to allow freedom of thought not to put any value on religion or the practitioners thereof. Freedom of religion has become freedom to be thought-less. Most of the important founding fathers did not believe in a god or they were highly skeptical of such a notion. Today, we know much about the origins of the earth and the universe; we know quantum mechanics; we know evolution; nothing indicates any sort of god or gods. What kind of evil god would give free will to a species bent on destroying the earth and all its inhabitants? Only an incredibly useless god. If you think that you are not a moron for believing in a god, please give me some evidence of this god. Otherwise you are no different than children who believe in witches and fairies. This football coach needs to be prosecuted for kidnapping and for feeblemindedness (if only such a law existed!) But he certainly typifies my belief on the intellectual level of football players and coaches!

  • Fate1

    Pro-choice advocates have always said religious right-wingers only want to make your choices about a baby until it is born, and after it is born could care less about the child. Well, here’s possible evidence they also want to make your choices about your children for you long after they are born. I agree this story has little detail, but if what is described is accurate the coach and superintendant should be fired and the parents should sue.

  • hillbilly3

    It is interesting to note the weekly county paper did not have a single word about this trip.A Louisville paper even had an editorial this morning. It was also on Fox and CNN. Ignore and it will go away?

  • DCSteve1

    I notice that not a single one of the people defending the coach has bothered to respond to David Waters’ very reasonable question: What would be your reaction if the coach had taken those children to a NON-Christian religious service where they “voluntarily” converted? Would you shrug your shoulders and say “No big deal?” Of course not. So why is it OK when it’s a Christian church? Because, conveniently, that’s YOUR faith? What hypocrisy.

  • luv2bikva

    It would be noteworthy to see which of the 20 players who attended the baptism actually played in football games after the event. This action on the part of the coach smacks of coersion. [COACH: I’ll play only those who attended; the rest can rot in hell.] Should there be any evidence of such coersion, then appropriate disciplinary action against the coach and superintendent would then be warranted.

  • jckdoors

    This is disgusting. The coach should be fired. There is no place for this with public money. Why do those with religious leanings think they can shove it down others throats? Voluntary my rear, what player would risk the rath of the coach should they decide not to attend. Fire him.

  • Carstonio

    “Since, when is it wrong to invite someone to church. I know this guy was a coach (clearly not a government official), but don’t we want coaches encouraging kids in good ways. I guess you can hate all religion but that quite a hard stand. Clearly no one was forced to do anything here.”This is not about “religion” but about sectarianism. From a First Amendment perspective, there is no single entity “religion” but instead a collection of various competing sects. The job of any government institution is not to play favorites among the sects.Also, “government official” is the wrong word. I don’t know if he was a government employee, a contract employee, or a volunteer. In any case, as a coach he was acting on behalf of a government entity, so his actions constitute government endorsement of a sect. True, he didn’t coerce anyone, but he was still in a position of authority and influence over his players. He was misusing his position for the purpose of sectarian evangelism.Also, it’s a mistake to automatically equate evangelizing for ANY religion as “encouraging kids in good ways.” A believer would likely be biased in favor of his own religion and against other religions in that regard – it’s purely in the eye of the believer.

  • sciencelady1

    If it were my kid, I would be talking to an attorney for sure. I don’t want ANYONE indoctrinating my children to faith or religion. I would have that coach fired.

  • pegaleen78

    Eight more people are going to heaven! Glory be to God! I do not think these people were coerced, I think they found Jesus!!! Everyone should be praying and thanking this coach!

  • pegaleen78

    P. S. Thank God these boys were in church and not selling drugs on the street!! Americans are Christians! We believe in Baptism. Ye must be born again!

  • Fabrisse

    *You don’t need permissions slips to work with teenagers. Quite frankly we need more people to take interest in kids outside of school and give them good things to do.*Yes, I do need permission from the parents to work with teenagers. I’m a tutor through a program here in DC. I not only have to have a complete background check, I have to have proof of vaccination, proof I’m free from TB, and I can be fired — even though the program is voluntary — for not adhering to the rules set out.I have no problem with the coach inviting players to a steak dinner. I have no problem with a coach saying “My church is having a meeting on Wednesday, does anyone want to come?” I do have a problem with a bait and switch. I also have a problem with him using the school bus, which gives an aura of officiality, and with the parents not being informed.I do think teenagers are old enough to have their own spiritual revelations.

  • Freestinker

    “What would be your reaction if the coach had taken those children to a NON-Christian religious service where they “voluntarily” converted?”——————–KERT1 would be fine with that also. If some coach takes KERT1’s 15 year-old kid to a Satanic initiation ritual after being told they were just going out to dinner at a local restaurant, KERT1 would be fine with that too because “these students were old enough to make their own decisions without direct parental involvement.” … even though the coach lied to the students about where he was really taking them.KERT1 sees no problem with public school officials proselytizing and indoctrinating his kids into Satanism without his permission, even if they have to lie to his kids to convince them to go … after all what KERT1 doesn’t know couldn’t possibly hurt him, now could it?

  • kert1

    Fabrisse,There is also no bait and switch here. I think you made that up. The teens did what they wanted to do. Many of them seemed to be involved in the church anyway.Freestinker,

  • fmjk

    Well, at least they didn’t listen to the President of the United States tell them to work hard and stay in school. Now THAT would have been offensive indoctrination that we can’t tolerate in American public schools.

  • fmjk

    “Americans are Christians!” “We believe in baptism.”Really?Has the person who posted that ever read the Constitution? To pegaleen78: are Jews and Muslims not Americans? Sometimes reading this blog makes me sad. And a little bit frightened.

  • MycroftH

    I am a believer in Christ, and I thought I might take the road a bit less travelled here. The law on school sponsored religion is pretty clear. My kids can pray in school if they want, and they cannot be coerced to pray in school if they don’t. And I’m very happy with that arrangement. Instances like this bus trip are destructive, both to the society and to any valid discussion of religious faith. Faith by definition cannot be coerced or forced – it has to be arrived at. Regardless of the “voluntary” nature of the trip, where it is a “team” event and appears to be school sponsored, even 16-17 year olds are placed in a difficult position. Not because they aren’t capable of thinking their way through it – many 16 and 17 year olds are – but because the coach holds a power position over them and they are not adults with the capacity to defend themselves. Who can truly say whether playing time is affected by who goes on the “team building” trip. The coach has many other options outside the school environment to make contact with the kids and talk about his faith. The distinction is that most of those options require legitimate communication of some sort with their parents. And that is as it should be. The issue here is not whether the players were truly coerced or not. The issue is that they too easily could have been. Any legitimate dialogue on faith should be above that.And yes, I would object to my children being taken to a mosque, a Wiccan magic circle, or a Baptist church for that matter, under the circumstances described here. Until they turn 18, they are my kids and it is my responsibility to protect them. You may not agree with how I do that, but you have to respect my right to do so or lose any moral high ground you think you might otherwise have.

  • Freestinker

    “Of course I would not allow my kids to go to a Satanic ritual, as no other parent here would.”—————-Satanist parents might very well want their kids to attend a Satanic service but not a Christian service.

  • Alex511

    fr pegaleen78:>Eight more people are going to heaven! Glory be to God! I do not think these people were coerced, I think they found Jesus!!! Everyone should be praying and thanking this coach! How would YOU feel if this was YOUR minor child being COERCED into going to a “revival”, of a different religion than YOURS? Would you feel the same way? I doubt it.

  • Freestinker

    “All beliefs aren’t equal. While I wouldn’t have a problem with my son attending a service to a different belief, I wouldn’t allow him to go to something evil. Most religions promote good and seek God, but others don’t. There is a difference.”——————-Yes but “the difference” is always in the eye of the beholder.So who decides for their minor kids which religions are evil and which one’s aren’t?Ummm … oh yes, it’s the Parents!

  • pegaleen78

    Anyone who believes in God is a religious American! Yes I have read the constitution and I am not the one who switched the context to destroy this country! God bless American and our citizens! Muslims and Jews do not believe in Baptism?? Jesus was baptised!

  • Freestinker

    “There is no indoctrinating or manipulation here.”—————Hiding his intentions from the parents and lying to the students about where he (the coach) was taking them isn’t manipulation?You can’t be serious.

  • MillPond2

    These are religiously neutral questions directed to Kert1: Do you have teenaged children? Are your thought the result of the experience of raising teenaged children?

  • pegaleen78

    I grew up Baptist, but my parents allowed me to visit Catholic,Nazarene and Methodist churches. I chose on my own my religion. Nothing was forced on me. I happen to have a mind of my own!

  • FYIColumbiaMD

    “There is no law against talking with kids or influencing them in a good way.”Yes, but I’m guessing every member of NAMBLA also thinks that they are just influencing kids in a good way.For some of us, religion represents the greatest evil developed by man. Not only is it currently responsible for most of the armed conflict around the globe (and has been throughout time), if mankind ever does succeed in destroying itself it is likely to be in a fight over whose imaginary friend in the sky is the most powerful. If my children try alcohol before they are 21 they’ll be punished but I won’t be shocked. Likewise if they experiment with sex. I will be extremely disappointed if they ever try drugs. But I will feel that I have failed as a parent to instill a strong moral core in them if they ever become religious.

  • pegaleen78

    Why is it so hard to be happy for someone who has found Jesus? God will be the judge and we will all face him in the end!!

  • tomchapman

    The coach is a halfwit. So is the superintendent. These are teenaged kids who, because of their age, are prohibited from engaging in any number of activities. They can’t vote, they can’t drink, they can’t execute contracts. One would think that a momentous occasion such as accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior would be a proud moment that would involve the families of the kids. Yet instead of celebrating this occasion, the coach sneaks around as if he were rewarding the kids for their efforts in preseason practice by taking them to a bordello. Why do I think that worship in this particular church involves snakes?

  • Alex511

    fr pegaleen78:>Why is it so hard to be happy for someone who has found Jesus?…That’s not the point at all. The point of the article is that the “coach” loaded these kids onto a school bus for a trip to a “revival”, and he had NO authority or business doing so. I hope the “coach” is FIRED for what he did.

  • wthu

    If it was a Catholic Church that they got baptized into, then I am okay with it.If it was a protestent church, then I am opposed to it.

  • FYIColumbiaMD

    “There seems very few details on this situation. Not sure if they are missing, or the author leaves them out.”Here is a slightly more detailed article on the event:In any reasonable school system, both the coach and the superintendent would be fired.

  • FYIColumbiaMD

    In this day and age, the only way Christianity stays viable is either through the aggressive indoctrination of the very young, expansion into regions of the world where formal education is very limited, or cult-like approaches as demonstrated here. As a parent, it really highlights the importance of educating your children so that they don’t fall prey to such predatory superstitious practices.

  • Rich393

    FYIColumbiamd, add to your comment the tax favored status of churches. I believe without what is essentially a government handout, religion would survive but in a more responsible way.

  • qqbDEyZW

    When the Republicans used Religion and God to get in office it’s gone down hill from there. Kids are watching how Law Makers commit major sin while calling themselves the Christian Family Values Party. Even Jesus said give Caesar what is Caesar’s and give God what is God’s. Now we seen Church’s take Government Grants to forgive sins committed by Law Makers like Senator Vitter, Ensign, Foley and Craig. Now we see Rep. Duvall who get sex and money to vote for companies and he’s the leader of the Republican Party Christian Family Values. Jesus did say Satan will have his followers using God’s name to complete their evil mission. We’ve witnessed lies, murder and sin by Law Makers over the pass 8 years. Now with a real Christian President who follows God’s laws Americans still prefer to follow those who are evil. Everyone and even the Church can and has been brought and paid for by the Satan workers.

  • lepidopteryx

    Kert,If the coach had told the kids on the team, “Hey, guys, there’s a big revival service at my church Wednesday night and you’re all invited, as long as your parents give permission. If they say it’s ok and you need a ride, I’ll come pick you up at home – my car can seat 6, so let me know as soon as possible if you need a ride,” that would have been fine.Any school employee who took my daughter anywhere that I had not specifically given written permission for ahead of time would find themselves facing one very angry mamma.

  • tojby_2000

    Upon hearing that a very ill child was baptized by a Catholic maid, Pius IX used his authority as ruler of his Papal States to remove the little boy from his parents. He was reared as the Pontiff’s ward and became a priest.

  • overed

    pegaleen78 wrote: …I chose on my own my religion. Nothing was forced on me. I happen to have a mind of my own!

  • cletus1

    In the end, it does not matter. As long as there are no state-sponsored incantations to the majority mythological entity. Jesus is as good a mythological figure as any. Though, as Ghandi noted, the supporters of Jesus are a little more hateful than in most mythologies. I’m not sure that’s even true anymore. The Muslims are pretty bad as well.

  • ravitchn

    There are so many examples in the history of the three great monotheist religions of forced conversion (see the Old Testament, see the history of Charlemagne in France/Germany, the history of Vladimir in Rus (Russia); see the Koran) that this Kentucky story is only farce. It happens all the time in the South where church and state are not really separate except in the strictly legal sense.

  • bpai_99

    I see again and again a direct correlation between someone’s avowed Christianity and their behavior – the more passionately someone proclaims and promotes their faith, the more unChristian is their behavior.”I like your Christ. Christians, not so much.” – M. Gandhi

  • Revcain777

    Some people went to church…big deal. I suspect the mother who complained was under self conviction, though not in a religious way. Her son’s meaningful religious experience may have shined light on her shallow, superficial life.

  • SarahBB

    This is a sad and abusive use of coercive power.

  • joe_allen_doty

    I do not using a public school bus to take the football players to church. But, I have no problem with any high school student choosing to go to church voluntarily . . . not even if the football coach volunteers to take them and provide other than school vehicles for transportation to get there.According to New Testament Biblical Doctrine (aka 1st Century “Christian” Doctrine), one cannot become a Believer in Christ Jesus except by one’s own choice to do so.According to the same Bible that the Roman Catholic Church uses, no one is baptized in water by sprinkling and definitely not baptized by immersion (the Bible way) until AFTER the person has accepted Jesus’ salvation. Spiritually speaking, a parent has no right to interfere with a school age child accepting Jesus and choosing to be baptized by immersion in water. I have had public school students actually improve in their classwork after accepting salvation and being baptized with the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit. One of them went to church regularly without her parents.

  • lepidopteryx

    Joe_Allen:

  • penance091

    Saving souls by force is a sacred duty for many religionists???Are you kidding me with this? And what exactly gives you the right? This is a simple matter of separation of church and state, as well as simply respecting the rights and wishes of others.It kills me that the principal sees nothing wrong with this. Why? Oh that’s right… because she’s a member of the congregation. The opiate of the masses indeed…

  • ChuckView

    In large parts of the country, Christian prayer is a key part of the culture, which I’m sure disgusts and annoys some WaPo readers no end.

  • CalSailor

    As a Lutheran Pastor, whose church holds a theology of baptism which is in agreement with Roman Catholic theology (which is the faith denomination of one of the teens who was *RE*baptized without his mother’s consent or knowledge):For those Churches such as ours, which hold that baptism is a SACRAMENT conferred by God through the church, that child is already baptized, by the family decision, through the action of the faith community acting on God’s instruction as set forth in the New Testament. (At a later age, we formally instruct the children on the faith in which they have been raised, as ask the child to make a decision for him/herself as to whether or not to be an active participant in the faith. That is called CONFIRMATION. Confirmation is voluntary, and I have told my confirmands that I will defend their choice to their parents if they decline to participate in the rite (or Sacrament in RC theology) at the end of the instructional period.) For us, baptism has the same significance whether the one to be baptized is six weeks or 65 years old; in either case it is God who calls us and makes us his own. In either case, the individual begins his or her life of faith at that point, as the days and years unfold, the significance is deepened through participation with the community in which they have become a member in their baptism. Baptists generally have a different theology of baptism, but what is at stake here (aside from questions of bait and switch, etc, which were apparently part of this story) is that the coach and his church had no right to denigrate the faith in which this child is being raised. And that is what is happening: The Baptist church says: Unless you are of a specific age, and make a voluntary decision to be baptised, then we do not recognize it. For Baptists, baptism is not a sacrament, but a rite that symbolizes a faith decision already made. That is your right; you may require ANYONE WHO JOINS YOUR CHURCH who has been baptized before to repeat the rite if you wish. But you do NOT have a right to countermand the parent’s faith, church and decisions on this matter. [Those of us who believe in the sacramental nature of baptism hold that baptism, so long as it is accomplished with water in the Name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is valid and is NOT repeatable. We do NOT rebaptize! At the most, we may conditionally baptize, IF THERE IS STRONG QUESTION as to whether the person has been baptized before. For most denominations, we accept the baptism of anyone previously baptized under this form.]If the Baptists choose not to accept our theology of baptism, which has been around for about 2000 years, that is their right. But it is our right to teach our children how we understand the faith. To have youth groups attempt to get our kids to act against the faith of the church and their families, and to take advantage of a young person who does not understand the nuances of what he or she is assenting to by being rebaptized, is unacceptable and inexcusable in this country.Baptist religion (and many evangelicals in general) does not understand the Sacraments as we do; as actions of God, as promised in Scripture; as signs which confer the grace of God and will keep us as his power proclaims. This sacrament is wholly precious to us, we do not take lightly those who denigrate it. By encouraging kids in evangelical group activities to be “baptized” when they are ALREADY baptized, is to place these children in the position of in a sense, downplayingor misunderstanding their own faith, of getting caught up in something that, other than in the immediacy of “come on, join us, everyone is doing it”, is contrary to their beliefs. More than 2/3 of all Christians on earth hold that baptism is not repeatable. We [Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Lutherans, Anglican/Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists, etc.] who hold the sacramental understanding of baptism treasure our understanding. It has kept us through the trials of life as a comfort: I am baptized; I have been claimed by my Lord, and nothing can separate me from this relationship. For us, the actions of this coach are totally unacceptable. Any worship that says somehow to our kids: You are not *real* Christians we catagorically reject. This is what is at stake in this issue.For Lutherans, here is what we teach and believe (for those of you who are non religious, understand that I include this as a statement for other believers as a statement of our beliefs, and is intended from a Christian perspective.)What is baptism? What then is this word of God?What gifts does baptism grant?What are the promises of God?How can water do such things?What then is the signifcance of such a baptism with water?Where is this written?This faith, in similar words in various churches that hold to a sacramental understanding of baptism, has nourished much of the church since the first century. For a sacramental understanding of valid baptism, we require:water, in whatever amount available and from whatever source; the quantity is irrelevant. Baptism is normally reserved to the clergy and celebrated in the church community, but in an emergency, any Christian may baptize. The words as water used three times, poured out, sprinkled on the forehead, whatever can be done: “I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”, complete the essentials of the sacrament. [There has been an argument in some circles that the traditional restriction on “in an emergency, any Christian can baptize” can be expanded. For example, a soldier in combat, wounded and unable to wait until a Chaplain or another Christian can come to his or her position, may ask another soldier, regardless of that person’s belief to baptize him. If that other person is willing to accept the action with the intent of carrying out the wishes of the one baptizing and honorably do that, most would consider it valid. In such a case, the desires of the one asking for baptism would be decisive. While this would be extremely rare, baptism at the time of imminent death is NOT all that rare; most clergy do it from time to time as part of their ministry.]Pr chris

  • Hillman1

    This is definitely a coercive environment. A high school coach wields tremendous influence over his players. A high school coach should never put players in a situation where he encourages or discourages them from any religious affiliation.It’s very conceivable that players felt pressured to ‘convert’ in order to play, in order to fit in, etc.A huge abuse of power and position.

  • willandjansdad1

    I am a Unitarian and we allow the gay-straight alliance from the High School to have pizza and a movie at our place with their chaperone/sponsor. We are just afraid enough of “Christian” attacks that we have a designated church member patrolling the property during their activities.Imagine if their sponsor used a schoolbus and brought them in to be “converted”.

  • jeffc6578

    If it was my kid, I’d find that coach and put a bullet in him.

  • kert1

    lepidopteryx,1. Permission slips aren’t needed for adults who work with kids. Obviously people check the backgrounds of adults and make sure they are resposible. This is a different topic.2. Permission slips are only used in general for special circumstances. Your community seems a little extreme here but they still don’t require them for everything. They simply can’t. There are many non-sanctioned events at community centers, church’s, schools, parks, individuals homes, etc. People influence kids in these places all the time without direct parental consent. Many times these kids don’t have parents to consent. You seem to have the idea permission slips can solve most problems. They clearly can’t. They are simply a protection for organizations that don’t want to be sued. Most activities actually need parental involvement to ensure your children are behaving within your boundaries.

  • lepidopteryx

    Kert:

  • kert1

    lepidopteryx,I would say that you there might be unintended consequences to this type of rule. If I may, your bigger concern is that you don’t think coaches/teachers/etc. should be able to try to influence your children outside the strict curriculum you pre-approve. That is certainly involved parenting but it concerns me. I believe we need more good influences for our kids, not less. I believe this would prevent good teachers and coaches from trying to help students that respect them. I believe the best teachers are the ones who are interested enough in kids to interact with them outside of their classrooms, when appropriate. These teachers won’t have the time or energy to organize these as official events and will be scared to help kids for fear of losing their job. I prefer the approach of trusting those that my kids interact with and making sure my children know what to stay away from. I would also make sure to know where my kids are, so there are no surprises later. That we avoid the rampant deforestation and writer’s cramp.

  • rcvinson64

    You should never drive off with a bunch of young men, unless they are sweaty and sexy. A hotel makes a better stop. Shame on the coach and “stuperintendent”.

  • spaceship-earth

    Even though OSAMA BIN LADEN is dead [since June 2007] that “9.11”, like what the “SHOA” is for JUDEO-abe-JU’s via WW2; is the “SECULAR’S-SHOA/HOLOCAUST” so to speaketh ‘Truth’ (opposite MYTH). O’ al JUDEO-abe-ISLAMICs; Never forget: eat ye “SATANIc VERSING” hearts out, if any!

  • fixitj

    We send kids to school to learn about reality; science, math, history… In the 20th century we should be able to expect that this ‘education’ be void of dark ages caveman type fantasies regarding invisible super-friends, magic-crosses and the like. “Say the magic words and live in heaven forever. Oh and be sure to cut us in on 10% of your income..” Hopefully, someday in the near future, this type of activity will be seen for what it is; pure lunacy!This is obviously an issue regarding a mentally ill coach and supervisor and should be resolved with an extended stay in a mental illness treatment center.

  • DwightCollins

    first of all, this has nothing to do with the Catholic Faith…

  • NoteToSelf

    And if these were girls of the same age who had gone to get an abortion “without the consent or knowledge” of their parents (which is legal), would the outrage still exist?

  • Catken1

    DwightCollins – there’s a serious difference between “Christians” and “Christians who try to indoctrinate the children of others without their consent behind their back.”I have no problem with Christians practicing their faith and teaching it to their children. But I do have a problem with them pushing it on MY son, as they would have a problem with other people using public school venues to pressure their children to be initiated into a Wiccan coven or Asatru kindred, or taught the five daily prayers of Islam, or pushed to offer incense to Shiva or Ganesh, or brought to a lecture on “Why belief in God/dess/es is foolish and stupid.” It’s that simple. Still, I suppose when you believe that God burns people alive forever and ever for practicing the “wrong” faith – for living according to the beliefs they were taught from childhood by every authority figure they know, and not changing just because some stranger comes in and tells them to – you will feel the urge to make converts however you can. Resist it, though, because You May Be Wrong. (I hope you are – why does anyone sane worship such a vicious sadist anyway? Do you honestly believe I or my kindly, decent, honorably, loving Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Pagan, agnostic, atheist, etc. friends _deserve_ burning forever and ever just because of who we are? Do you believe most of the world’s people – decent human beings trying to live their lives in peace – are so inherently evil, just for _believing the wrong thing_, that they deserve eternal, horrible, torture? A punishment whose intensity we can’t even IMAGINE with human minds? Really?)

  • Catken1

    NotetoSelf – if a public school teacher took my pregnant daughter on a pretended “field trip”, and then subjected her to a couple hours of fierce emotional propaganda, behind my back, on why she needed to have an abortion (or, for that matter, on why she shouldn’t), and pushed her into actually doing it (or committing to not doing it) right then and there without time for further consideration or counseling or any other influence or help, I would be angry. If she chose of her own free will either to have or not have an abortion, without being subjected to undue propaganda IN EITHER DIRECTION from public officials or public school representatives, I would be OK with that. Similarly, if she chose of her own free will to join another religion, that would be her choice – but it is not the place of public officials or public teachers or coaches to pressure her into a choice.The decision ought ultimately to be hers, since it’s her body and her soul, although with abortion as with religion, I would hope to have had some influence through my parenting and counsel.

  • coloradodog

    How incredibly naive to think a 17-year-old boy (with dreams of pro football scouts in his head watching him play for that one huge break to live out his dreams) would refuse his coach’s “field trip” and risk it all. “No coercion, it’s voluntary” To quote the infamous Southern racist acolyte of Strom Thurmond, “You lie!”Huckabees who think this is OK in America never cease to amaze me. This is an example of what will become Palin’s “Real America” if we continue to allow the neofascist agenda of the religious right to turn our free nation into their own private theocracy.

  • Voter4Integrity

    Wow. Baptism isn’t necessary for becoming a born-again Christian; it’s just a public show of faith, and this coach was dead wrong to do this. Regardless of the activity, red flags are raised anytime that an adult encourages someone else’s kid to keep a secret.

  • coloradodog

    I suspect this coach is a pedophile spiriting off young men into the night. When I worked as a elementary school mentor for a young boy in California, I went through a three month background check including fingerprints, tuberculosis test, mutliple references and a NCIC database check for prior offenses. Too bad Kentucy doesn’t have the same process. They may be surprised about what the discover regarding this “Christian” coach.

  • smith_avan

    This is insanity…. It is not logical that any government official use the excuse that the trip was voluntary, or that the kids were old enough to decide for themselves and not need parental consent. The parents of these 20 students are in fact responsible for the health, welfare, and accountability of their whereabouts at all times. If the students skip school; then the school district looks at this as being irresponsible parenting and will want to sanction them for not making sure their children are in school. If it is not right for the President of the United States to speak to school children… Then this coach and every other school official who signed off on this escapade ought to rot in hell for their hipocracy. These Holy Roller, Self Righteous Conservatives need to round up the equally ignorant politicians who preach and peddle Moral Righteousness, but instead are out there having Orgies, using tax payer dollars to visit their mistresses, and hide in public bathroom stalls to solicit secret homosexual encounters so that they can clean their souls of evil before they try to corrupt children.

  • tmcproductions2004

    OH BROTHER!!! More soldiers for christ for the big crusade against obama and helath care. Just what we don’t need. Hopefully I have raised my teens to know you do not sign up for sports to get baptized. But then I live in the north, ya know, where we actually worship god, not football coaches.

  • lepidopteryx

    Kert,

  • coloradodog

    The President of the United States can’t talk to school children but a coach who controls a boy’s future in sports and take him off an baptize him. Another day in Huckabee Jesuslandia.

  • lepidopteryx

    Kert,

  • Freestinker

    Kert,The problem here is that the parents were not informed about the exact nature of the “field trip”. It is the adult (the coach) who was responsible for making sure the kids’ parents knew exactly where they were going. He didn’t tell the parents and he purposefully misled the kids. I believe you Christians call this “bearing false witness”. A fine role model this coach was!Kert, idiots like this coach are making Christians look like a bunch of deceitful chumps who don’t respect the proper boundaries of other people’s families and you just cheer him on? Like they say, birds of a feather …