A Georgia highschool soccer coach who was criticized for performing a baptism on college grounds for a few of his gamers has been fired weeks after the ceremony.
The coach was eliminated as head soccer coach at Tattnall County Excessive Faculty this month for an unrelated purpose. Superintendent Christine Waters mentioned this week that the trigger was an accident following a recreation on November 3, however didn’t present additional particulars.
“The security and safety of our college students is paramount to the Tattnall County Board of Training,” Waters mentioned in a press release to its NBC affiliate. WSAV (Savannah, Georgia). “Primarily based on the findings of the investigation into the incident that occurred on the night time of Friday, November 3 whereas touring after a soccer recreation, the district has decided that it’ll seek for a head soccer coach who’s aligned with the perfect pursuits of the scholars.”
“Concerning every other allegations, the district doesn’t remark throughout ongoing investigations,” the assertion mentioned.
Waters didn’t identify the coach in her assertion, however WSAV recognized him as Isaac Ferrell. Ferrell couldn’t instantly be reached for remark Thursday.
Weeks earlier than his contract was terminated, Ferrell was harshly criticized by the Freedom from Faith Basis for inviting a neighborhood priest to baptize gamers on college grounds after observe on October 23. The watchdog accused Ferrell of “abusing his place.”
In a video shared on the soccer workforce’s Fb web page, the priest ordered one of many gamers to take a seat in a big tub stuffed with water.
The priest mentioned earlier than he immersed the musician underneath the water: “I baptize you now, my brother, within the identify of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
One after the other, a special participant got here ahead to be baptized. A put up on Fb said that twenty gamers had determined to be baptized. Baptism is a Christian sacrament that symbolizes their religion in Christ. It’s normally carried out on younger youngsters and is carried out by both immersing somebody in water or sprinkling water on their brow.
The Freedom from Faith Basis, which calls itself a “state/church oversight physique,” mentioned it acquired details about the baptism from a member of the neighborhood in query.
FFRF workers legal professional Chris Line wrote a letter to Waters saying the baptism was a “constitutional violation” and that Ferrell shouldn’t be allowed to baptize or preach to college students. Line mentioned the district must “chorus from merging the soccer program with faith.”
“We’re writing to ask the district to analyze this example and be certain that this school-sponsored non secular coercion ends instantly.” November. 1 letter is studying. “All coaches and workers must be instructed concerning their obligations as public college staff.”
One dad or mum advised WSAV she’s glad her son did it.
“I used to be so pleased with him as a result of he made the choice himself,” Latifah Johnson mentioned. “I did not have to carry his hand, and he did it as a result of he needed to.”
Johnson mentioned she discovered about it by way of the workforce’s Fb put up.
“It was so stunning since you see the boys and so they appear to need it,” she mentioned. “, everybody appeared excited, from those I might see.”
The FFRF mentioned it’s unlawful for public college coaches to intertwine their non secular beliefs or actions with their workforce.
“Scholar-athletes have a First Modification proper to be free from non secular indoctrination when collaborating of their public college’s athletics program,” the group wrote.
Following Ferrell’s dismissal, Layne issued one other assertion saying they had been “delighted that they’re on the lookout for a brand new coach who will abide by his constitutional duties”.