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RBB Schools Supt. Says Letter Asking For Prayers Was Meant As Community Outreach

Sanders says he’s received more support than backlash. He says he’s open to comments and welcomes calls and emails. (Steve Burns, WTIU/WFIU News)

The superintendent of Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corporation says the letter he sent asking local pastors to pray for him and the RBB schools was meant as an act of community outreach.

Dr. Jerry Sanders became superintendent of the school corporation in October of last year after taking on the position on an interim term.

In early December, he sent a letter to area churches asking the pastors to encourage their congregations to pray for him in his new position and for the school corporation as a whole.

“The idea of sending a letter to the churches was basically part of plan in reaching out to different community organizations," Sanders says.

Sanders says the church letter was just the beginning of his marketing plan for the school, which also includes connecting with the local chamber of commerce and real estate agencies.

He says he intentionally didn’t send the letter to students, parents or staff because of the separation of church and state.

“And so, in my thinking, I wasn’t trying to send out a communication that was designed to change the mind of anybody," he says.

The letter was printed on the school corporation’s official letterhead, sparking controversy on social media.

“If I could go back, I might send the letter not using school letterhead," Sanders says.

Sanders says he’s received more support than backlash. He says he’s open to comments and welcomes calls and emails.

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