VILLA RICA, Ga. — A Georgia school district is investigating after video of a mass baptism was posted on YouTube.
The video, posted by First Baptist Villa Rica, was shot on school grounds just before football practice.
“We had the privilege of baptizing a bunch of football players and a coach on the field of Villa Rica High School! We did this right before practice! Take a look and see how God is STILL in our schools!” the caption with the video reads.
WXIA-TV reached out to church officials for comment, but were told the pastor was not available. The video on YouTube was removed by the user by Tuesday evening.
The Carroll County School District said in a released statement that it was “looking into the specifics of this situation and will take appropriate steps to ensure all state and federal laws are followed.”
The Freedom from Religion Foundation sent a letter to the district Tuesday asking it to “immediately investigate and take action to ensure there will be no further illegal religious events.”
In the letter, the Religion Foundation mentioned its lawsuit against Emanuel County School District for similar practices. The group is seeking punitive and personal liability damages in the Emanuel County case.
“We prefer to settle these matters cooperatively,” the letter reads before ending with a request to detail the steps the school district is taking to comply with the First Amendment,” said Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation.
“I can’t remember another case like this,” said Gaylor. “It’s really misusing the authority of the coach to promote his personal religious agenda.”
Those involved with the baptism have not hidden from it. The Villa Rica Touchdown Club posted the video to its Facebook page with the caption, “Share this with everyone! This should go viral!”