Organization sends letter to Newton superintendent after claims football coach baptized student

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AP Image

NEWTON COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) — An organization is asking the Newton Municipal School District to investigate a baptism that they claimed a high school football coach performed in September.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to Superintendent Dr. Virginia Young about the incident earlier this month. FFRF said the baptism happened September 21.

The group alleges that Coach Ryan Smith organized and performed the baptism on one of his football players. They claim that the entire football team was present.

FFRF is asking for the situation be investigated. They also said its unlawful to have anyone promoting personal beliefs or organizing religious activities with students.

The school district released the following statement:

The baptism of a Newton Municipal School District student did not occur on school property and did not occur during school hours or during any organized school activity, thus the District feels this is a private matter of choice for that student. Any additional Newton Municipal School District students that attended the baptism did so as their own voluntary act and decision.

— Dr. Virginia Young

Read the full letter that was submitted to Dr. Young here.

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