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Pastors Accused of Talking About Church at Public Schools and Being “Creepy”

Posted by on Oct. 15, 2013 at 4:59 PM
  • 46 Replies


Pastors Accused of Talking About Church at Public Schools and Being “Creepy”

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Three local youth pastors who volunteered as cafeteria supervisors at Woodward Middle School are being accused of recruiting and speaking about Christianity to students at school.

The Bainbridge Island School District in Washington has asked the men to not volunteer at the school while an investigation is being done. Officials say parents brought the complaints to a district administrator last week.

Students said the presence of pastors at school was “creepy,” according to KIRO-TV.

Danny Smith, one of the youth pastors, took offense to that.

“That for me is when I take an issue, when there are personal accusations about my character (or) creepiness (or) weirdness. My purpose is to just be with these kids and make them feel values and to help our community,” Smith told KIRO-TV.

“The only time church may have come in is when they say ‘what do you do?’ my response is, ‘I’m a youth pastor.’ Even sometimes say I’m a leader because most of the kids don’t know what a youth pastor is,” added Smith, a youth pastor at Island Church.

But School Board President Mike Spence said these allegations couldn’t be ignored.

“There are just too many serious issues to consider here,” Spence told KimoNews.com. “It’s a pretty slippery slope I guess I would say.”

Woodward’s principal wrote an email to parents on Tuesday night saying, “I have not had a single report of any of our volunteers proselytizing or recruiting students on campus. However, we are taking the concerns brought forward seriously.”

The district’s investigation is to make sure all volunteers have been complying with policies, wrote the principal. The investigation will include talking to students, staff and parents, according to Woodward's principal.

“Just because of my occupation, it gets lumped into that whole ugliness that doesn’t need to be,” Smith said.

Some parents, like Tammy Fujihara, who has a son that attends Woodward, side with the pastors.

“They shouldn’t be thought of as a weirdo just because they wanna volunteer at the school,” Fujihara said.

Parents of students from Bainbridge Island School District plan to speak out on the issue during a public comment period at the next school board meeting Thursday night at 5:30 p.m.

In Indiana last year, a youth pastor was barred from speaking to students about spiritual matters during lunch, according to the Christian News Network.

Bainbridge district officials said the pastors may be allowed on campus, depending on the outcome of its investigation.

Sources: KIRO-TV, KomoNews.com, Christian News Network

by on Oct. 15, 2013 at 4:59 PM
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Replies (1-10):
beesbad
by Bronze Member on Oct. 15, 2013 at 5:03 PM
2 moms liked this

If my kids are getting a 'creepy' vibe from anyone, they are instructed to follow their instincts.


romalove
by Roma on Oct. 15, 2013 at 5:03 PM
1 mom liked this

My purpose is to just be with these kids and make them feel values and to help our community,” Smith told KIRO-TV.

Ummm.....I wonder what that means, in terms of them "not" discussing their religion, considering they are youth pastors.


SuDoNim
by Member on Oct. 15, 2013 at 5:06 PM

I had to chuckle at this because my dh is youth pastor, and our running joke is that he can't even brush his teeth without preaching a mini sermon :)

Quoting romalove:

My purpose is to just be with these kids and make them feel values and to help our community,” Smith told KIRO-TV.

Ummm.....I wonder what that means, in terms of them "not" discussing their religion, considering they are youth pastors.



romalove
by Roma on Oct. 15, 2013 at 5:07 PM
3 moms liked this


Quoting SuDoNim:

I had to chuckle at this because my dh is youth pastor, and our running joke is that he can't even brush his teeth without preaching a mini sermon :)

Quoting romalove:

My purpose is to just be with these kids and make them feel values and to help our community,” Smith told KIRO-TV.

Ummm.....I wonder what that means, in terms of them "not" discussing their religion, considering they are youth pastors.



LOL

Look, I don't care if they are youth pastors or what they believe, they just should not be using the public school as a place of recruitment for their religion.  It is just wrong.


FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Oct. 15, 2013 at 5:08 PM
2 moms liked this

This hits close to home.

There are youth leaders who volunteer at my daughter's middle school on a regular basis.  In different areas and different degrees.

Some one calling them creepy, in my opinion, speaks to either what they hear from other kids or the way they were taught to look at a Pastor, etc.  That is, if the individual truly was not speaking about religion, making an attempt to recruit, so to speak.  Even still, the description used doesn't sit well with me but I am not there and do not know the intricate details.

Those who volunteer at my daughter's school have never had any issues.  None that I have heard of, any way.  Many know the kids well and because of the youth groups that meet, on campus, after hours, these people are indeed well known to every one.

However, at a high school football game, I noticed an older guy hanging out with the middle school kids.  I asked some one who he was.  He said his name and said he attends the church on base.  

I listened a bit and while he seemed nice enough, he was indeed there to recruit kids to have their parents bring them to Mass at the base chapel, those who could get on base, of course.  While telling other students they should find a friend who can bring them on to the base to attend Mass.

That is wrong, in my opinion.  He was at a school function and he should not have been hanging out with the young kids doing this.  I kindly asked him who he was and he told me.  He told me his name, that he is a  youth leader and started to tell me how I should attend mass on the base and bring my children.  I stopped him.  I was very polite but I let him know that during a school function, what he was doing was wrong and he could find himself in trouble for it.

I left it at that as he said good night and left the bleachers.

No one else heard me and no one asked where he went.  It was obvious he was making the kids feel uncomfortable.  

If these people are only talking about their profession and nothing more, leave them be.  They can do a lot of good volunteering where many parents fail to do so.  If they are indeed attempting to recruit, remove them from the school grounds.

sheramom4
by Bronze Member on Oct. 15, 2013 at 5:12 PM

If the students are getting a creepy vibe or feeling pressured with the presence of these pastors, the pastors need to not volunteer. From this article, they have no connection to the school through their children being students or another family member being a student, so there is no need for them to be there. If they want to volunteer in the community, they can offer their services to a different organization. 

I always tell my kids to trust their instincts. If someone gives off a bad vibe or feeling, then avoid them as much as possible and report it if need be.

12hellokitty
by Platinum Member on Oct. 15, 2013 at 6:33 PM
2 moms liked this
Interesting students finding Christian pastor as creepy results in pastor being told to leave. Female students who find men who think they are women changing in girls locker room creepy are told to get over it....
yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Oct. 15, 2013 at 8:00 PM

 Yeah, I always find those that VOLUNTEER their time to be creepy.

 

Thomigirl
by Gold Member on Oct. 15, 2013 at 9:12 PM
5 moms liked this

Oh, cut the shit already. 

Quoting 12hellokitty:

Interesting students finding Christian pastor as creepy results in pastor being told to leave. Female students who find men who think they are women changing in girls locker room creepy are told to get over it....



rfurlongg
by on Oct. 15, 2013 at 9:19 PM
Eh. As a parent I wouldn't be thrilled about preaching on campus, but I wouldn't make a big deal about it either.
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