Meeks said that all the boys who were baptized did so of their own volition. The superintendent said she was at the church for her own personal religious experience and not as the school official. She said the boys' baptism involved complete immersion, meaning the students were fully dunked in a large pool of water.
"It was a decision they made to do," she said, adding that the kids who went on the trip seemed to enjoy themselves. "They really acted like they had a great time. I heard they talked about it all the way home."
Hill, she said, is known for speaking at NASCAR-sponsored events. On his Web site for Ronnie Hill Ministries, the homepage says that "Ronnie preaches an anointed but simple message of salvation and repentance; that it's the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and that through His blood alone, we are saved."
Lisa Gross, spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department of Education, said that while state law prohibits teachers or school employees from preaching or imposing their own beliefs in the classroom, Mooney's field trip "is a little different."
The state's law bans "adult-led religious activities," she said, but only in a school setting. There are no such provisions for extracurricular activities. And the districts generally have a wide-berth when it comes to handling such trips.
"There's no state law that says you have to have a policy related specifically to this," she said.
It remains to be seen whether the controversy over Mooney's field trip will mean policy changes at the school. Meeks, in her first year as superintendent, said she would "wait and see" if anything is done differently in the future.