School Bus Driver Fired For Praying With Students

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Praying Bus Driver, George Nathaniel III, Fired For Religion On School Bus

From HuffingtonPost.com 

article-2489927-193E859600000578-918_634x417School bus driver George Nathaniel III was fired last week for inviting the children on his routes to pray with him each morning, despite being repeatedly asked by his company to stop, reports CBS Local.

He told media that “To fire a bus driver for praying for the safety of the children” is not right, according to the Star Tribune. He prayed on the bus as he is a pastor at Elite Church of the First Born and Grace Missionary Baptist Church in Minneapolis.

The school district of Burnsville, Minnesota complained to his employers, Durham School Services, who proceeded to give Nathaniel a warning and assign him two new bus routes serving Edward D. Neill Elementary School and Metcalf Junior High School. However, Nathaniel refused to comply with their direction and said, “I let them know I am a pastor and I am going to pray,” reports the Star Tribune.

He explained the specific nature of the bus prayers and insisted that he was not coercing students into religious observance. “We start out with a song,” he said. “Then each person will pray if they want to pray. If they don’t want to pray, they don’t have to pray. Then I will pray and ask them if they want to join me in prayer. Just give them something constructive and positive to go to school with.”

He was then sent a more formal letter on Oct. 30, which said, “There have been more complaints of religious material on the bus as well as other complaints regarding performance. In accordance with the previous final written warning you received, your employment is hereby terminated.”

Nathaniel sought to emphasize his right to freedom of religion, stating, “They are trying to take away every right the Christian has to express our Christian belief in this supposed to have been Christian nation.”

However, ACLU legal director Teresa Nelson said that in her opinion, Nathaniel actually violated the First Amendment by having prayer on a public school bus. She told CBS Local, “The school bus is a captive audience. When he is driving the bus he is acting like a school official and he does not have the right to proselytize or promote religion in that context.”

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40 Comments on “School Bus Driver Fired For Praying With Students”

  1. Real Woman of God

    Oh really Ms Nelson? You too will one day need prayer. Lord have mercy! I hope and pray that Mr Nathanial III was able to reach several of the youth that he prayed with!!

  2. Shawanna Brown

    Hmmmm. Are children being bullied on his bus? Are they being sexually assaulted are they getting picked on are they destroying the bus? If this keeps the children calm and happy then I say go for it.true believers are gonna praise, promote, and the adore Jesus whenever and however they please. Get over it ACLU Planned Parenthood anti-this, Antichrist,anti-that this is so “Stoopid”Godless nation….

  3. Jonta King

    Well the Word of God tells us in Romans 13:1-5 that we should Be subject unto higher powers, Whosoever resisteth the power resist the ordinace God. So for the Pastor to not follow the rules that the School has set is a complete lack or respect for the higher powers or those in authority over you(us). Sorry but the pastor was wrong in his outward show of disrespect for authority but was right for in what he was doing. Proverbs 14:12, there is a way that seems right to a man but in the end it leads to death. Death resulting in the loss of his job.

      1. Jonta King

        What does that have to do with the pastor not following the rules that where set. He could have prayed to himself and God. Please Give me scriptures that can back up someone not following rules set in place. If we can do what we want regardless of rules then Rom 13:1-5 will make God’s word of no effect.

        1. RockK Harris

          Romans 13: 1-5 is not talking about employment or rules, but the law and law enforcement. This man did not break the law or he would have been arrested. If you interpret Romans 13 1-5 in the way that you’re interpreting it ; then the 3 hebrew boys would have been deemed wrong in their open defiance to the king for not following his commands. He is being persecuted for righteousness sake and for this we should count it all as joy.

    1. RockK Harris

      Romans 13: 1-5 is not talking about the school system or anything like that. . .It’s talking about police and others in law enforcement. If you continue on to vs. 9 you will see that in keeping the commandments of God that alone would or should satisfy any just laws of men. Praying where ever you are does not violate the law of God. It’s about not doing anything illegal and doing good not evil. Has prayer become evil and if so; then this man should not have just lost his job, but be thrown into prison as well. When man seeks to throw out God he chooses to put himself in place as god, in turn; making laws or regulations that try to supersede that which they do not believe in nor acknowledge. Proverbs 14: 12 is not talking about the way of the righteous, but they way of the unrighteous: I.e. it does seem right to the school system to remove any resemblance of God from their schools, It seems right to local governments to remove God from all sporting events or any public venues. It also seems right for them to promote gay marriage, marital government benefits for cohabiting couples gay or straight of a yr or more etc. . .etc. . .etc. . . all these things are in direct violation of the law of God and they seem right to mankind yet they will lead to death both physical and spiritual. What happened to this bus driver is only a foreshadowing of much harsher events to come.

      1. Jonta King

        Ok, On my phone I had some Christian music as my ringtone. Someone from the company took issue with the fact that I had that as my caller tune when they call me, Casting Crowns played until I picked up. They soon asked me to take it off,seeing that im a supervisor. So I did, but i didnt make complaint I just did it. Why because they are a form of the Higher power. I understand its talking about police and governments but also your job. I dont need a song caller tune or things of that nature to show that Im a true living breathing believer. All I need is my lifestyle. So I ask you,if your job ask you to do something like in my situation or even the bus drivers…Would you do it, or would you disobey your boss(a form of higher power).But either way you believe your way and ill believe my way.

  4. Min. Robert Murrell

    The assault on Christianity has begun already. I applaud that the bus driver used boldness and his intent; I am glad that he is not ashamed of being a believer and wants to pray for with and for the children. I think he should have used better judgement especially being cognizant of the times. A better way would have been to pray over his bus before and children got on the bus. I realize that they may be children from Christian and non-Christian homes. The bible say that we have to wise as serpents but harmless as doves.

  5. Missylo

    This is a mess, I would rather have my child saying a prayer and singing a song of praise; instead of having a bunch of cussing, fighting, and any other ill willed activities, that goes on the buses. This is just another way as the bus driver has said to take away all Christians rights. They can accept that homosexuals want the freedom to be treated like the Husband and Wife that was ordained by GOD himself, but when it comes to praying in the schools (in which he was not violating any school rules, seeing he was on the bus) it is wrong; then you all now have a thing where trans-gender kids can now choose the right (when going to the bathroom in school) to either go to the girls or boys bathroom. How is that not intruding and forcing kids (that come from Christian homes) to accept a boy that wants to be a girl, use the girls bathroom and vice versa when it comes to a girl wanting to be a boy? How quickly Godly ideas are evil and ungodly things are good. Oh what a price this world will pay when the SAVIOR RETURNS…I do not want to be in those people shoes, who have accepted this evil doctrine filled with hypocrisy and double standards when it comes to pushing it’s views on people who does not want anything to do with the evils they impose.

  6. Gene Ann McCarty

    So sad. Condoms can be passed out in public schools. Every secular organization has rights but Christians can’t tell children about their ONLY HOPE! God help our country. Have mercy on us & pour out your Spirit on us. Help us to find a way in love to bring God of the Bible back into our schools. Lord make a way where there seems to be no way. God bless this man in his endevors. A cloud the size of a man’s hand. God is greater, we can only win if we, as God’s people repent from our wicked ways, and pray then God will hear & heal our land. So the ball is actually in our court. God clearly put it there. God did not say to fight the sinner, they do exactly what they do best & that is sin just as we did once upon a time & some of us still do. God said bless them who despitefully use you. God give this preacher wisdom & may he keep his eyes on Jesus & continue to do what he has taken a stand to do. PRAY! That moves mountains!

  7. Mara

    That’s quite a load of legalistic lies right there. Invitations to prayer doesn’t = trying to convert these kids. It is what it is. But it’s perfectly acceptable for the school systems to allow cross-dressing children into the wrong bathrooms and nobody can say nothing about it. In any case, I hope the Lord blesses this man.

  8. Rene

    Can’t wait until this nation is invaded and taken over by China because this is insane. You can’t pray on a bus for kids who willingly want it but the schools have no problem hiring pedophiles and women who openly fornicate with their students. I can’t wait until this country burns.

    1. robert

      I don’t know where you heard that it is better in China then it is here but you have been misinformed China has no freedom. If you want to live like that move to China they don’t have to come here take your ass there. Sell out!!!

  9. Tamika

    They have no idea how those prayers may have protected him and those children from an accident or any other kind of harm! Had that bus been in an accident and the kids or the bus driver had been seriously hurt or even killed, all those parents of the children on the bus, including the school officials would have been the first people on television asking the public to PRAY for the bus driver and the kids! When people stop others from praying, they shouldn’t get mad when no one prays for them!

  10. HJ

    Unfortunately, separation of church and state is one of the beliefs of the land, and they really apply it in the nation’s public schools. As a former middle school/high school teacher, I had prayer in my class on many occasions, but all of them were led by Christian students who initiated it. The only time I actually prayed aloud was in my office when I was counseling students, and I asked the students’ permission and let them know it was ok if they didn’t want me to do it. Worked in the school system for 10 years; nobody complained, no one had a problem. If he was being reported, then he must have gone about it the wrong way. I agree with the minister who said we must be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. The word also says that we are to obey the governing authorities, so once he was asked to stop and continued, he was out of order. A wise man would have sought the wisdom of God to show him how to pray within the confines of his job regulations. Now those children have lost a connection with a Godly influence in their lives because he didn’t.

    Now I also realize that some people have twisted the constitution and believe that freedom of religion means freedom FROM religion. There are times to stand up for what you believe, but there is a way in which to do it effectively. The apostle Paul was an excellent example of how to confront the religious and secular authorities and still spread the gospel.

  11. Pastor Rudy Palmer

    Here is a lesson on Christianity 2013 :
    Jesus said to be ” Wise as serpents yet HARMLESS as doves “. HARMLESS ! If your employer now states to you that what you are doing is HARMFUL , guess what ? Your employment is NOT a church. Harmful or ” proseletizing ” is HARMFUL to THIER PLACE OF employment and thier business. Oh Im a Christian and Im gonna witness where they tell me not to !? Ok well you now have no job , no income , no tithe , no offering. Jesus also said ” Pray in secret and Ill reward you openly . Dont pray out so everyone can see and hear you ! This is what the self righteous do. Dont put ashes on your heads ! People that do these things just want to be seen. They will get no reward !”. JESUS SAID THIS in Matthew chapter 6! We must have zeal but with knowledge how to perform our Christian exploits ! Christian country ? Read your history! Most of the founding fathers were considered Diests or believing in ” a diety ” , not necesarily Christ The Lord . . Theres Rules at an employer fir a reason and we must ” obey the laws of the land ” while also ” being obedient to those over us ” .
    God bless this pastor but he was wrong. I pray daily for children and crossing guards FROM MY TRUCK ! The kids come to our church and the guards too !
    Be wise and be blessed all !

  12. VAL

    ITS A SHAME ONE PERSON CAN COMPLAIN AND TAKE PRAYER OUT OF THE SCHOOLS, WORLDWIDE AT THAT……IT IS SUCH A SHAME ONE PERSON TRYING TO GIVE POSITIVE TO KIDS AND HE LOSE HIS JOB….THIS WORLD IS TERRIBLE. iT GOT PEOPLE THINKING WRONG IS RIGHTS AND RIGHT IS WRONG….DONT GET ME WRONG…I AM NOT SAYING THROW RELIGION ON ANY ONE….SAME WAY THEY GAVE THE FEW WHO DONT WANT TO PRAY THE POWER TO OVER RULE THE MAJORITY… SO SAD…PARENTS…TEACH YOUR KIDS TO PRAY, SO THEY CAN FIND PEACE IN THIS TERRIBLE WORL…GOD BLESS AMERICA

  13. Simply Maria

    This is just sad. Everyone has echoed my same thoughts. I pray that the driver will get another job and that he will continue to pray for the children. However I pray he will remember:
    But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (Matthew 6:6 NIV) God hears the heart of the driver.
    Let us also pray for those in authority. Unless the driver has his own company he must follow man’s rules. God be with all of us.

  14. btruth

    “Wisdom is the priciple thing.” – Proverb 4:7 We must be wise in this day and time. Prayer is always good but when your on the “man’s” time you have to obey his rules. Thats his time and we as Christians must respect that. does this seem like a slap at Christians…..? yep!!! but he was not at his church praying but on his job vehicle , also he could have said a quick silent prayer in his mind. God knows. If this were off company time and in his own bus it would be totally different.

  15. brian

    It’s the bus driver’s fault as to why he no longer has a job. He was asked several times by his company to not pray with the children. He was insubordinate and therefore he was terminated. He works for the public school system which is government ran. This country was founded on the principles of religious freedoms and separation of church and state. He was free to practice his religion anytime except while working. Personally, I would feel awkward about a bus driver praying for students on the bus if I was also a student on the bus. His job is to drive a bus. He needs to pray on his own free time. Even in the bible, Mark 12:17 Jesus tells his disciples to render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and render to God what is God’s.

    This is hardly any kind of persecution. You all should read articles and watch videos concerning our middle eastern christian brothers & sisters being persecuted in ways we could only fathom. Their governments believe in the death penalty for christians. When you have a chance to live with the threat of a sword or dull knife on your neck everyday for what you believe in then give me a holler. In the meantime, we as Christians still have it great here.

    And before you jump down my throat, I am a christian and I don’t go spreading my faith at my job because it’s inappropriate and I could be fired

    1. Irla

      I pray for you, that you begin to read the Bible. All these fancy words the US legal system has come up with still don’t stand in place of The Word. Specifically read about Paul, when he was put him in prison for preaching the Gospel, then was let go, with the comment, don’t preach anymore in this place. He did what God said to do and preached some more. Insubordinate to who? Man or God? You Choose.

  16. Jed

    Indeed the end is nearer than we think. Satan wants to squeeze out anything called Christ from most Developed country. And He is using the government and it’s laws to do so. If Christians do nothing to stern the tide, a time would come that it would be illegal to preach the gospel even in churches. It’s rather amazing how men seek solutions to the problems of the world and yet refuse to accept the most obvious, most costly and freely given solution which is Jesus….

  17. Lilie

    I want to say, that I already heard this particular report on another person YT channel, and I am going to leave the same comment I tried several times to leave on the channel and it YT would not let me leave it…..

    So let’s fire a pastor who prays for the little ones for God’s protection, and let’s hire a pedafile so they could violate a child……Are you serious???? This Pastor did the right thing, even though it costs him his job. And I can assure you that those children were blessed by him being there. He lost his way to make a living, but because he stood firm, and kept on, one of those kids who probably NEVER heard of God, and never seen a Christian man pray, will remember and will seek the true and living God of this bus driver. Praise God!!!! May God bless this pastor, n supply another job for him. Amen

  18. AJ

    The school should thank God for prayers to keep children on their journey, knowing that God is their keeper and sustainer. If there should be an accident the question would be “If there is a God why?”

  19. James-Michael Jamal Hollingsworth

    Why do you think their are school shooting and school bulling everwhere in this country? As one nation under God indivisable with liberty and justice for all we have taken pray out of schools its Ok to what the 1st amendment say but with does the bible say it is impossible to take pray out of schools the more you take pray out of school the more, wroste this nation is going to get, I can’t wait till the Savior comes. Because in the end the word of God is going to stand forever.

  20. James-Michael Jamal Hollingsworth

    Why do you think that their are school shooting and school bulling in this country. As one nation under God Almighty whe have taken the word Jesus, and we have taken prayer out of schools in this nation. Instead of listening to what the 1st amendment says we need to listen to what the bible says, because his word will stand alone God’s holy word will always stand. I can’t wait until the Savior Comes.

  21. Ellie Maith

    Let’s be real here. What has made this world a worse place than ever. When is it OK for the gay and lesbian groups get a stand before God? God created this entire world and this nation has just thrown crap in His face. How is it that it is OK for “stand your ground” and carrying guns that kill other people? This nation was supposed to be founded with God in mind. The Scriptures are certainly coming to light….. this world will wax worse and worse…. I say “stand your ground for God”…. let us rally together to bring the prayer back no matter where you are….. on a school bus, on the corner, in a restaurant, on top of the Empire State Building….. wherever you want to. People do everything else that they want to.

  22. Tina Web

    T.Nelson , YOU ARE A GOD-LESS WOMAN!!!!!! Shame on all who had hand in letting Mr. Nathaniel go for doing what God tells us all to do often!!! God also tells us to pray for your kind because you are evil! So I will.

  23. Alycia

    I believe we should be bold for Christ! But, I also believe that God is a Lord of order. I am sorrowful that this gentleman lost his job but I wonder if he sought wisdom once he was warned. He matter of factly asserted to his company that he’s a pastor and would pray, but I hope he used discernment and followed God’s direction. If God told him to continue to pray publicly, I don’t believe that he should be worried about losing that “job”, because obviously God has him covered. On another note, as an employee of a public school district, I believe intercession and prayer is important!! I pray for my students before they walk in the building and before they leave! I don’t believe it was prayer that was the issue, just the manner in which it took place.
    It also amazes me that school districts make students say the pledge of “allegiance” (which I will not do) to the flag daily-ending with “…under God….”, honor the state law (of TN) to observe a moment of silence to “pray, think or meditate” but still take issue with public prayer (e.g., in the morning before school kids gather at the flag to pray).

  24. cynthia

    The word of God say’s, they will call wrong right and right wrong. Please remember the lady that had prayer taking out of school , she died a horrible death. I remember praying every day before school started. America your souls will be required of you. We have been a blessed Nation, founded on PRAYER……

  25. GREATMAN

    oh america, how i love u….. it pains me ur pride ll lead u to a big n disastrous downfall. oh manaseh, u have disobeyed the God of Abraham…… just wait n dont repent ..very soon THE KING OF THE NORTH( HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE’S RULER) EU) will send u down with nuclear weapons…..JEREMIAH 30V7………

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