ACLU asks Eakins for church-state review
Meetings are under way this month between Hillsborough County school district officials and several organizations that have raised questions about the district's relationship with area churches.
Specifically, the organizations question the activities of Idlewild Baptist Church, a megachurch that sends volunteers into numerous high-poverty schools and coordinates voluntary principal training.
This letter arrived recently from the American Civil Liberties Union. Critics -- a group that also includes the Atheists of Florida and the Jewish Community Relations Council -- wonder if teachers are under social pressure and if district leadership is signaling that it endorses the teachings of Idlewild or other churches.
District officials say the relationships are closely supervised, the content is non-religious and the volunteers provide valuable support to children in need.
Update: This is what Eakins told First Priority Tampa Bay at its annual luncheon Jan. 12.