Students involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a nonprofit Christian sports ministry, conducted the assembly during a noninstructional homeroom period at Huntington High School in Huntington on February 2.
Students told CNN they were made uncomfortable, confused and angered by the meeting and said they were not given an opportunity to opt out.
“The district honors students’ rights to express their views. The district also respects students’ rights to religious expression. However, forcing religious expression on those with differing beliefs is not acceptable and is not in alignment with district, state, or federal policy and will not be tolerated by my administration or the Board of Education,” the statement said.
Students at the school staged a walkout last week in an attempt to get administrators to hear their concerns.
“These are kids that don’t feel comfortable attending this, you know, kids that might be part of the LGBTQ community, or might be non-Christian or nonreligious as a whole, and they were made to go,” said Max Nibert, a senior at the school who organized the walkout.
In a Saturday statement to CNN, Nik Walker Ministries said Walker’s “vision is to bring hope to a generation through knowing Jesus Christ.”
“We are grateful that this vision is coming to life in not only schools but also churches that have all but lost hope in the world that we live in,” the statement said.
“When the chaos in our society gives birth to division, depression, and hopelessness, we find our hope and peace in Jesus. Many of the students who attend the meetings find the same eternal hope in Him before they leave, as well.”
CNN’s Chris Boyette contributed to this report.