Speaking of bad teaching and schools that screw up under community pressure, it looks like we have an ugly story here in Morris. Last week, the student at the Morris Area High School were released from classes (you know, those sessions where they are supposed to learn something) to listen to some motivational speaker babbling about healthy lifestyles and abstinence, and apparently telling them that Madonna was a lesbian, among other tidbits. I’ve only heard third-hand about the event itself — Skatje‘s still in touch with friends at the high school, but she didn’t actually attend herself — but now there’s an article in the local paper on it.
West Central Youth for Christ has a high school presence in Willmar, Redwood Falls, and Springfield, among other places in the region. Tina Marie’s visit was another step toward forming Youth for Christ chapters in both Morris and Benson.
Read Tina Marie’s MySpace page or her blog, and you’ll get a taste of what she brought to this event. This was proselytization for conservative evangelical Christianity, pure and simple, and it was supported by our public schools — the same schools that, a few years ago, were aghast at the thought of the students seeing a play that promoted tolerance. This is something they do support, though.
Speakers like Tina Marie are not the only activities Youth for Christ sponsors, but what the organization brings to Morris will depend on what area youth are interested in. The Morris chapter of Youth for Christ is still in the early fundraising stages, Graves explained, but said there is support from area leaders and a group of MAHS athletic coaches for the program.
So, if we tried to put together a group of Morris Atheists, would the high school agree to allow us to come in and interrupt classes so we could recruit and do a little fundraising? Or would they suddenly remember that the mission of a public school precludes using it for or against religion?