Worship group stops meeting

Haley Miller, Reporter

As she is religious, junior Alexis Zrebiec says she thinks it’s wrong that her prayer group doesn’t meet anymore. Last year, the student prayer group she was involved in met once a month, in order to provide a place to talk and pray before the school day started. Even though Zrebiec disagrees, the group no longer holds meetings.

“I asked a teacher, and (the teacher) said (students) aren’t allowed to advertise religion, because (SHS) doesn’t want religion to be pressed on anybody,” Zrebiec said. “(The teacher) didn’t want anybody to feel like (the students) have to believe in something.”

According to Zrebiec, the main reasons the group is no longer meeting is because it can not find another sponsor, and the group can’t promote itself. Junior Megan Osborne, another member that was in the group, says she misses the group because it was a place of support.

Osborne says that for her, it was a place where people of similar beliefs could pray for each other. One reason they stopped meeting was because of the 7:05 a.m. start time. Another reason is the fact that their sponsor, Justin Heinold, no longer works at SHS and the amount of members wasn’t enough. She also says that since religion can not be advertised, the group was not allowed to promote itself in school, so not many people joined.

According to assistant principal Amy Boone, any type of worship group is allowed to exist, but SHS has to be careful not to push one religion over another. She says outside groups like Young Life, FCA or local pastors can have tables in the cafeteria to help promote themselves, but they aren’t allowed to solicit kids.

“(The administration tries) to make sure (religious groups) are optional,” Boone said. “It’s nothing that’s being forced, like you can’t hand out flyers with scripture on them.”

Even though the group is no longer meeting, Osborne continues to worship throughout the school day using a daily devotional app on her phone, which she says is a good way to remind her that “God is in everything that you do.”

She says she has a bible study at her church that she attends, but the student prayer group at school was nice because it wasn’t located as far away. She also thought her church group started too early. If someone were to start another student prayer group, Osborne says she would go to the meetings, since she had a positive experience with the last one.

“It was just kind of a group to (say) ‘Hey, there’s someone who’s praying for you and someone out there who believes the same things that you do,’” Osborne said.