School district officials in Wisconsin have said a group of parents who host regular, large-scale lunches for high school students to talk about Christianity is violating school policies.
The Middleton Cross Plains Area School District sent a letter to all parents in the district ahead of a planned gathering on April 12, according to WKOW. Around 300 to 400 students met with the group on that day.
The gatherings began in fall 2015, and grew out of a few mothers meeting with their own children at school, reports The Christian Post. The organizers at the school say that their mission is to "spread the Gospel to high school students through serving them and allowing them to explore God's grace."
The lunches have become a divisive issue in the school district, according to Middleton High School Principal Steve Plank.
"Some students feel excluded or left out. We have students of different faiths, Muslim students or Hindu students or Jewish students who feel like this is happening and it's not for them. We've had some students that leave school early on those days. Maybe feel intimidated by people coming back in afterward."
Superintendent Don Johnson said it is the district's responsibility to provide a supervised environment for students throughout the school day, and that school officials would be open to the idea of a "Jesus Lunch" provided it becomes a student-led club which follows rules set by the district.
"We are not anti-religion, we are not anti-Christian, we are really pro-embracing all of our students and all of our religious faiths, or the lack of that," Johnson said.
"We're a public institution and we think that's a really important part of this."