The Winslow Unified School District has issued a formal apology after being called-out by a nonpartisan educational and advocacy organization for “turning a district-sponsored, back-to-school staff event into a Christian worship service.”
The group Americans United says they were contacted by more than a dozen staff members of the Winslow school district after a July 30th “Back to School Kick Off” event, at which 8 Christian pastors had been invited to speak. Employees said the speakers delivered Bible quotes and prayers and said God would protect them from COVID-19. In a letter to Winslow Superintendent Kathryn Zanin, the group explained that incorporating religion into district-sponsored events is unconstitutional and violates the religious freedom rights of employees. The apology letter issued by the district’s governing board says they had no prior knowledge of the “specific agenda set forth by the Superintendent.” Americans United is made up of lawyers, students, religious leaders and others and advocates for the separation of church and state.