I think we all know that in today’s world, if you do something that doesn’t align with somebody else’s beliefs, then you’re going to get chastised for it.
With that being said, it appears we have another situation like this brewing at an East Georgia high school.
According to WSB-TV, Tattnall County High School football coach Isaac Ferrell was fired after the team’s last game on November 3rd, after he received a ton of backlash for bringing a local pastor to come speak to the team, and baptizing 20 players after practice last month.
Tattnall County Schools Superintendent Kristen Waters shared a statement:
“”The safety and security of our students is paramount to Tattnall County Board of Education. Based on the outcome of an investigation into an incident that occurred Friday night, November 3rd while traveling after the football game, the District decided that it would seek a Head football coach that aligned with the best interests of the students.”
She did not share the exact reason for the firing, but the baptism move stirred a lot of criticism, particularly from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, who shared on their website on November 6th that baptisms violate the players’ First Amendment rights. They also said it was illegal for public school employees to:
“Invite or instruct others, such as pastors, to lead them in prayer or other religious activities, such as proselytizing or baptism.”
That’s a bit confusing, because tons of high school football teams across the country have a pastor or team chaplain who prays the Lord’s Prayer with the team before games. Does that mean all of those teams are breaking the law too?
Of course, we don’t know for sure if the baptisms were the reasoning behind Ferrell’s firing, but the school has definitely been receiving negative publicity from non-Christian organizations.:
But at least one of the parents of a student who was baptized says she was proud of her son for making the decision on his own.
“I was extremely proud of him because he made the decision on his own. I didn’t have to hold his hand, and he did it because he wanted to do it…
It was so sweet because you see the boys and they looked like they wanted it. You know, like everyone looked excited, from the ones I was able to see.”
And many online are supporting and praising the coach for his actions:
Players willingly show up to be baptized and the school fires the coach… Unbelievable.