Religion

Michigan Superintendent Clarifies Clergy Ban In Schools

| by Kendal Mitchell

A Michigan superintendent spoke with a local news station last month to clarify his school district’s policy regarding on-campus religious activities.

Fremont Public Schools superintendent Ken Haggart previously issued a statement to the Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists (MACRA), a church and state group, about Bible classes during school hours.

“All clergy will have been permanently banned from Fremont Public Schools and ... no organized religious activities will again take place on school property while school is in session, if organized and run by adults," Haggart wrote in a letter to the group.

On March 18, Haggart spoke with local news station WZZM 13 to clarify the ban.

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"Fremont Public Schools neither encourages nor discourages participation in any religious program,” Haggart wrote in an email to MACRA, as reported by WZZM 13. “By saying 'clergy are banned' we are referring to the offering or conducting of religious instruction classes. In the event of school tragedies, or needed counseling, or for clergy who have children attending FPS, or other use of the facilities, they are of course welcome to visit our schools."

In late February, MACRA member Mitch Kahle wrote a letter to the principal of an elementary school in the Fremont Public Schools District, saying she was violating the Constitution by offering a Bible study class on campus during school hours.

Haggard said that students who want to take the class now go to a local church for their Bible lessons. He added that the church provides transportation to and from the school, not the school district.

Sources: WZZM 13, MLive / Photo Credit: MLive