High school principal says he was fired for reading Bible with students
Manchester High School Principal Dr. Michael Lehr claims he was fired for reading the Bible and praying with students during a meeting of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in his school.
According to a report by FoxNews, the principal was filling in for the fellowship's leader but he believes it affected the results of his annual evaluation which took place two days after the meeting.
According to Lehr, he was informed by Superintendent Carol Lane that he would be put on indefinite administrative leave for the remainder of his contract for leading prayers at the FCA meeting, reported FoxAtlanta.
His contract will also reportedly not be renewed once it expires in June.
Lehr said that he is now looking for a new job to support his family, adding that he is relying on his faith to get him through this time.
Meanwhile, parents and students are rallying behind the principal, describing him as a kind, dedicated and well respected man.
"It is breaking our hearts its breaking our hearts... because it is not supposed to be like this," a parent said in an interview with News Radio 106.7.
"What do you expect at a Christian meeting except prayer and Bible reading?" one parent noted.
"I want prayer in this school. I am proud to see our football team take a knee and pray before and after games. And also in clubs and we're just shocked," Angila Waddell, another parent, said.
As part of the Constitutional provisions for the separation of church and state, public schools in the US may teach about religion but not favour a particular religion over the other.
Schools are also prohibited from promoting a religiously based life over a secular life and vice versa.
Schools instead hold religious freedom days wherein students are informed about their religious expression rights, and members of different faiths are allowed to talk about their beliefs with students and distribute materials.