Should this Bus Driver Have Been Fired for Praying with Students?
When we send our kids to school, we trust they’re going to get from point A to point B with no issues. But a bus driver in Minnesota wanted to use the time to add to his little passengers’ education. George Nathaniel, 49, was fired for praying with students.
According to Minnesota’s Star Tribune, Nathaniel is a pastor at two local churches and had been driving a school bus for two years. During his time as a driver, he would start the day with Christian songs and prayers for the kids’ safety. He claims he didn’t force the kids to pray but invited them to join him in prayer if they wanted. Even after getting a warning from the district, Nathaniel continued. “I let them know I am a pastor and I am going to pray,” he said. But that wasn’t good enough for the district and last week he lost his job.
Nathaniel is now arguing the ban on school bus prayer is a violation of his freedom of speech, but the school district says prayer with the kids is against the 1962 Supreme Court decision that made it illegal to pray in public schools.
This bus driver has his heart in right place; we all hope our kids are safe when they go to school. That hope might not manifest itself in a prayer, but it’s still there. And if he really did give the kids a chance to opt out, is it really that offensive?
Should this bus driver have lost his job?