RELIGIOUS PRACTICES: Prayer and Bible study continue at Rep. Justin Harris' state-financed pre-school, according to a news report.
An article at NWA.com quotes
a former employee of Rep. Justin Harris'
West Fork pre-school, Growing God's Kingdom
, as saying Harris and his wife often would try to pray demons out of misbehaving children at the school.
This week, in his ongoing reporting
on the Harrises and their adoption of two children, Benji Hardy quoted people who spoke of the Harrises' belief that their then-daughters, aged 3 and 5, were possessed by demons and that they'd tried exorcism and isolation of the children in response.
The Harrises say, through an attorney, that they don't believe in demonic possessor or exorcism.
The NWA.com article includes this:
One parent who spoke with KNWA says he and his wife are happy with the school.
"It's great for preschool, they teach them about the bible and stuff like that too, which I think is really important." Said Cody Buchanan, Dad.
My interest is not the Harrises' personal belief. My interest is that they are reportedly praying out demons as a disciplinary tool and teaching the Bible in a school that relies almost entirely on government money through the ABC pre-school program.
Complaints about religious instruction at the school (and also at a pre-school then operated by Johnny Key, a former Republican state senator who's Gov. Asa Hutchinson's choice to run the public schools in Arkansas), led to adoption of state rules meant to prevent religious instruction during the state-paid portion of the school day. As noted at the time,
the rule seemed problematic, with opportunities to continue religious instruction through state-paid staff.
PS — A viewer said KARK this morning carried an interview with a former employee who said the Harrises would form a circle around children, place hands on them and pray the demons out.