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Christian revival at school prompts student walkout

by Alex Collett

A Christian revival at a West Virginia public high school has caused students to walk out.

Cameron Mays, 16, and his classmates were told to go to an Evangelical Christian revival assembly by their teacher.

When the students arrived at the event in the school's auditorium, they were instructed to close their eyes and raise their arms in prayer.

The teens were asked to give their lives over to Jesus to find purpose and salvation. Those who did not follow the Bible would go to hell when they died, they were told.

The Huntington High School junior sent a text to his father.

“Is this legal?” he asked.

The answer, according to the U.S. Constitution, is no.

In fact, the separation of Church and state is one of the country’s founding basic tenets, noted Huntington High School senior Max Nibert.

Nibert and other Huntington students staged a walkout during their homeroom period Wednesday, in protest.

More than 100 students left their classrooms chanting: “Separate the church and state" and, “My faith, my choice.”

School security turned away reporters who tried to cover the demonstration.

During the walkout, he held a sign reading, “My rights are non-negotiable.”

More than 1,000 students attend Huntington High.

The mini revival took place last week during COMPASS, a daily, “non-instructional” break in the schedule during which students can study for tests, work on college prep or listen to guest speakers, said Cabell County Schools spokesperson Jedd Flowers.

During Wednesday's walkout, Nibert passed around a petition for students to sign, stating that he plans to deliver the document to the Cabell County Board of Education.

The petition – which has already been signed by 75 people -  asks that the board apologize to families for what happened and discipline the teachers who mandated that students go to the assembly.

It also calls for the review or creation of a board policy pertaining to religion or religiously motivated speakers in school.

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