Report addresses religious concerns at Bainbridge Island middle school

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by NATALIE SWABY / KING 5 News

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KING5.com

Posted on November 26, 2013 at 11:28 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 27 at 12:09 AM

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, Wash. -- On Bainbridge Island, some school leaders have seen an investigative report which they plan to make public next week. It addresses concerns raised by some parents about a few volunteers in Woodward Middle School's cafeteria. 
 
"There were three youth pastor volunteers during lunchtime," said Peter Bang-Knudsen, the Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services.
 
The youth pastors, who do not have students attending the school, became the focus for some parents wanting to know if religious views were being spread during school hours. 
 
Bang-Knudsen said seven or eight parents met with him, and others spoke up at a public meeting last month. 
 
The school district paid an independent investigator $260 an hour to do some digging after the parent complaints surfaced.
 
While some parents are upset, others said there is no proof religion was being discussed and the issue has been blown out of proportion.
 
Bang-Knudsen said he wants the report to answer questions and clear up hearsay.
 
"That is why we proactively went out and asked for an independent investigator to come in and research what the situation was," said Bang-Knudsen.
 
The youth pastors are currently not volunteering at the school.
 
The investigative report will be made public at noon on Tuesday, December 3rd. The school board will also host a study session about the report that evening.
 

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