New Hampton parents concerned over choir content, church tour - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New Hampton parents concerned over choir content, church tour

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NEW HAMPTON (KWWL) - A song called "In This Very Room" has been sung by New Hampton's choir program for decades.

But some parents are now worried about the song's religious overtones.

They took to the podium in a recent school board meeting to voice their concerns.

"There's clear and convincing evidence this song carries religious meaning," said one parent.

But other parents believe the song is a part of the school's history and tradition.

"Thing singing of  'In This Very Room' actually began at the request of a student back in 1985," said another parent.

But the song isn't the only issue. 

One parent whose child is in choir says a church tour prompted him to pull his daughter out of the program last year.

"They visit, like, five churches on Sunday mornings for their service and sing Christian hymns," says Jim Keane. 

The church tour raises questions of legality, but Keane says that isn't what concerns him.

"To me, the biggest issue is that you're putting children in the position where they have to make public declarations of faith," he said.

At the board meeting, Keane was part of the minority. 

But that isn't stopping him. He wants to make sure no student feels left out.

New Hampton's superintendent says the principal is setting up a committee made up of students, parents and teachers to address the issues.

They're also consulting with their lawyers to check the legality of the church tour.
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