Published July 20, 2006
BEND, Ore. (RNS) ó Central Oregonís largest school district has suspended a long-standing practice of allowing youth pastors from a local evangelical church to talk to students eating lunch in school cafeterias.
Representatives of Bendís Westside Church had been going to lunches about once a month at four middle schools and three high schools in Bend for about three years, church officials said.
A few parents found out about the visits from their children and complained to officials at Cascade Middle School and the Bend-La Pine School District.
ďFor me itís a concern because middle schoolers are so impressionable, and if the school district is going to allow one religion to be represented, they have to allow other religions to be represented, too,Ē said parent Judy Drake.
School officials called Westside leaders June 6 and asked them to stop the visits until the district can revise its current visitor and volunteer policies to address the situation.
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