A bus driver in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has been taken off his route after praying with his students. The driver, Greg Nathaniel, was also fired four years ago for praying with students while working. Nathaniel is also a local Church pastor and some believe the move violated the man’s First Amendment rights.
School officials claim Nathaniel forced students to pray with him, but Nathaniel claims he never forced any of the students to participate, and that students would actually volunteer to lead the prayers. He says the complaints against him from parents comes as a surprise because he has discussed praying on the bus with them.
Nathaniel, who started working for Quality Care Transpiration in 2017, was removed from his bus route. According to the company he is still employed but has not been given a new route. He is currently serving an undisclosed role.
Nathaniel admits that his ultimate goal is to convert people to Christianity but denies every forcing prayer on any student. That’s where the Constitution comes in,” Nathaniel said. “You’ve got the freedom to exercise your religious beliefs.”
Muk Musa, the owner of Quality Care Transportation said of Nathaniel, “He’s not going to change. His main focus is to influence even one person in following what he worships.” Musa said that while he allows his employees personal time to pray, they are not allowed to lead students in prayer while working.
Nathaniel’s students attend Nasha Shkola, a Brooklyn Park charter school focused on the Russian language and culture. The majority of students are Russian and Christian including some who fled persecution in the former Soviet Union.
Photo by Atomic Taco via Wikimedia Commons