On February 2, 2022, Huntington High School hosted an evangelical Christian preacher at a school assembly in which students were allegedly told that they’d go to hell if they don’t follow the bible. The preacher encouraged students to bring their families to a nearby church and had them close their eyes and raise their arms in prayer.
Cabell County Schools confirmed the preacher’s event at the school, which was organized by the school’s chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. They say that the event was supposed to be voluntary but at least two teachers misunderstood and forced their classes to attend. Students who asked to leave once they realized what it was say they were forbidden from doing so.
Students and parents who have spoken out say that voluntary or not, the event was inappropriate in a public school during school hours.
It’s a completely unfair and unacceptable situation to put a teenager in. I’m not knocking their faith, but there’s a time and place for everything — and in public schools, during the school day, is not the time and place. — Bethany Felinton, mom of a Jewish student forced to attend, to the Associated Press
On February 9, 2022, in response to the assembly and what they considered inadequate taken by the administration, more than 100 students walked out of school in protest, chanting “My faith, my choice.”