A Georgia school district is trying to determine if a mass baptism that took place on their football field was illegal.
The Carroll County School District in Georgia has stated they are investigating a video that was uploaded to YouTube. The footage shows football players and their coach from Villa Rica High School being baptized on school property. The Carroll County School District have stated that they are investigating to make sure no laws have been broken in this incident.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation have responded to the YouTube video by urging the school district to investigate the mass baptism since religious events taking place on school grounds are illegal.
Freedom from Religion Foundation is concerned that the coach is forcing players to follow his own religion, seeking to promote his own interests over and above the interests of the team.
A mass baptism before football practice for students and coaches. If that were my kids team I'd freak…. http://t.co/AmeJtVGRk0
— cheyenne (@cheyenn10316666) September 3, 2015
Georgia seems to have its fair share of religious battles such as these. Other cases that have been criticized in this manner include:
- Madison County School District for having biblical references on a monument.
- A Dublin school for playing “Amazing Grace” at football games.
Response from Villa Rica High School and First Baptist Villa Rica
Since the investigations have begun, the video has been taken down from YouTube by the person who posted it in the first place. It has been stated that the First Baptist Villa Rica were responsible for posting the video and has pride that God is seen in the schools despite opposition. The pastor of the Baptist church however has declined to comment on the video or the baptism event.
The statement saying that ‘We did this right before practice’ suggests that all participants are proud of the mass baptism event. In addition, The Villa Rica Touchdown Club have shared the video on their Facebook page in order to show their pride in the mass baptism service. Along with the video, the caption reads ‘Share this with everyone! This should go viral’ showing that yes the footballers believe that there is room in their team and in their school for religion.
Supporters have created a Facebook group that has over 10,000 likes. Students showing their support were on the front page of a local newspaper.