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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

More Faith Based Issues

Huddle-Touch, a Central Tampa ministry, is the latest organization to generate a complaint, this one from the American Civil Liberties Union.

Huddle-Touch, a Central Tampa ministry, is the latest organization to generate a complaint, this one from the American Civil Liberties Union.

On the day of the Hillsborough County School Board's long awaited discussion about faith-based partnerships, this letter arrived from the American Civil Liberties Union. 

It concerns Huddle Touch, a home-grown ministry that seeks to share the love of Jesus Christ to children in Hillsborough County, especially east and central Tampa.

The organization is especially concerned about video testimotials from Middleton principal Kim Moore, Blake principal Jesse Salters and other administrators. Links to these are in the letter. When principals Johnny Bush of Robinson High and Kenneth Hart of Alonso High (formerly of Monroe Middle School) were seen on another video promoting the work of First Priority, Superintendent Jeff Eakins asked the organization to take the video off its website. (Bush has since been promoted to general manager in the Office of Professional Standards).

Other principals including Sarah Jacobson-Capps and Ire Carolina have appeared in videos promoting the work of Idlewild Baptist Church. 

As the Tampa Bay Times reported, the School Board discussed the religion issue Tuesday for about 30 minutes and more or less agreed that a) Faith Based organizations, like other non-profits, must not be discouraged from donating their time and talents to schools and children that need their assistance, and  b) The administration should be commended for the work it is doing to improve the volunteer screening system to prevent embarassing gaffes like the one involving the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Superintendent Jeff Eakins said that in discussions with faith-based groups and the civil rights organizations that are concerned about proselytizing, there is 90 percent agreement on the basic issues.

Then again, he and the board say they will look into the latest complaint about Huddle-Touch.  

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 10, 2016 9:59pm]

    

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