Bible Preaching Co-Ed Suspended

By John Schmidt

April 1, 1969, North America

An 18-year-old Flowing Wells High School senior recently has had a heavy cross to bear.

Less than three months before her graduation in June, Patricia Rodriguez was told by her principal, Victor Meneley, that she would no longer be able to attend school if she continued being a disruptive influence on her classmates.

Patricia brought a Bible to school each day and when opportunities presented themselves, she preached the word of God to anyone who would listen.

Meneley said the whole thing started in March when social studies teacher Len Skrobel arranged for the “Revolutionaries for Christ” group to visit and lecture his classes. Skrobel invites representatives of many groups to sp0eak. Recently prisoners, dope addicts and politicians, extremists from the left and right have shared their views with the youngsters.

Later, when a teenage counterpart of the “Revolutionaries for “Christ” came to town, two Flowing Wells girls joined them.

“When Jesus came into my life,” Pat said, “he showed me I didn’t need to be depressed because he loves each one of us. So many of the kids at Flowing Wells need love. That’s why they drink beer and take pot. They feel a great need. I have to tell them, whenever I can, that Jesus can meet their needs, and they don’t have to take pot or drink liquor.”

Patricia can’t go back to school, however, unless she agrees not to preach.

“As I understood it,” said Yoder, “this girl would try to preach in class and outside. No one has the right to proselytize in the schools. That’s the law.”