A new school year has begun and we’ve already seen numerous cases of schools rather blatantly violating the Constitution, from forcing kids to say the Pledge of Allegiance to handing out fliers for churches to, now, a Georgia school with a monument mixing the school logo with Bible verses. The American Humanist Association is challenging that monument.
Today the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent a letter to officials at the Madison County School District in Danielsville, Georgia, on behalf of a concerned citizen about a monument on school district property.
According to the letter, the monument’s prominent inclusion of biblical scripture, combined with the high school’s logo, send the message that the school district endorses religion, specifically Christianity, in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The monument, a large permanent sculpture entitled “Red Raider,” is located in the Madison High School football stadium and was unveiled this school year. The sculpture includes religious language and Christian biblical references, such as quotations from Romans 8:31 and Philippians 4:13. The monument also features the Madison High School logo, and the high school football team customarily touches the sculpture before home games.
“Numerous cases make clear that public schools are prohibited from taking a position, or even appearing to take a position, on religious belief,” said Monica Miller, an attorney with the Appignani Humanist Legal Center. “Erecting a monument on school property that includes Christian scripture sends the unequivocal message to school children that the school is endorsing religion.”“Promoting one religious perspective over all others is discriminatory toward students of religious minorities and toward humanist and atheist students,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association.
Here’s the full letter, which includes several pictures of the monument. The problem, of course, is finding a plaintiff in that town to take a stand at great risk to themselves.