Students Tricked Into Attending Religious Event

Louisiana students from the East Baton Rouge Parish School System say there were invited to what they thought was a college seminar, which instead focused on religion and abstinence.

By Jessica Marie Baumgartner | Published

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Louisiana students attending a Louisiana school believe they have been tricked into attending a religious event. These children were unaware that their education would promote a career day event that focuses on the Christian principles of faith, forgiveness, and the biblical roles of males and females. The Daily Beast recently blasted the school for seemingly misleading students due to a handful of Facebook posts complaining that the school hosted a career day event that promoted religious content. 

The East Baton Rouge Parish School System encouraged Louisiana students to attend a local “Day of Hope.” This was hosted at a known church — a place of faith — in order to provide students with Christian-led opportunities for the future. The event displayed its connection with another religious organization on a local news outlet beforehand in order to encourage students to come to this non-secular day dedicated to numerous topics including, “college and career fair, breakout sessions, live music, a keynote speaker, free food, and more.”

The 29:11 Mentoring Program partnered with the parish school to host the event. This organization is another Christian affiliate that displays a bible passage in their title which states, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Despite this, some of the Louisiana students who attended believed they had been tricked into attending.

The outraged Louisiana students claimed that they were told they would be attending a career fair. Some complained that the boys and girls were split up to engage in different activities. One allegedly included a session for young women to seek to forgive those who have sexually assaulted them.

A parent angrily posted on Facebook that her transgender child walked out because there was no LGBTQ+ content, alleging that he was bullied at this religious event. Some claimed they were only allowed to receive the free food being offered at this church if they registered to vote. Others said that they were “forced” to listen to keynote speakers discuss faith and topics discussing suicide and rape.

Louisiana students

While many career fairs are hosted in convention centers and even allow pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood to counsel students on terminating unwanted pregnancies, this event was also criticized for discussing abstinence, bullying, and other serious matters with the Louisiana students who chose to attend. The Day of Hope was advertised as being affiliated with two other religious organizations, a church, and a Christian mentoring program. Some students said that the attending boys were left to play games, while the girls had to attend seminars.

In addition, advertisements did not just list the event as a career day but as a day filled with various activities and speakers. The Louisiana students who took issue with religious content being offered at a religious institution hosted by a religious organization may have been surprised to find religious content at this voluntary event, but no laws were broken and students were allowed to come and go as they pleased.