Fellowship of Christian Athletes employee banned from Florida public schools for promoting religious beliefs

An employee from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) was banned from Hillsborough County public schools after a 40-page complaint was issued against him by Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF), a national atheist organization.

(Wikimedia Commons/TampAGS)The main entrance to Hillsborough County's Courthouse in Tampa, Florida, is shown with the county's Confederate Memorial in the foreground.

David Gaskill, who is an area representative of the FCA Tampa Bay Chapter in Florida, and all adult members of the FCA have been banned from all schools, extracurricular activities, and events.

"Hillsborough County public schools cannot allow an outside adult like Mr. Gaskill access to the children in its charge so that he can promote his personal religious beliefs to those students," Andrew Seidel wrote in a letter addressed to Jeff Eakins, superintendent of Hillsborough County public schools. Seidel is the staff attorney of the FFRF.

According to the spokesperson of the Hillsborough Country school district, Gaskill and possibly the other FCA members in question did not go under proper screening of the school district. Moreover, their act of advocating their religious views in many campuses is against the policies and could possibly be illegal as well.

"The schools are allowing this outside adult complete unfettered access to other peoples children so he can proselytize to them, and the staff seem to be intimately involved," the letter of complaint reads, as quoted by the Tampa Tribune.

Gaskill went through 27 years' worth of drug addiction before he became a Christian. He got arrested when he was a college sophomore due to drug-related charges.

He expressed that he works with children in underprivileged schools, whose parents are usually in prison, "and that's why they listen to me because they know what I've been through."

"We were well aware of it; we've gone through background checks and done everything we needed to," Steve Young said talking about Gaskill's history. Young is Hillsborough area director for the FCA Kansas City.

"It was part of his story and it was what changed his life," Young says.