The American Humanist Association’s Apignini Humanist Legal Center has filed a lawsuit against a Colorado school district that has for years been pushing a wide range of Christian projects and organizations to both staff and students.
The lawsuit challenges the public school district’s repeated practice of promoting and supporting programs that proselytize Christianity. Among the violations, the school district actively promoted and engaged in a program run by the evangelical Christian organization Samaritan’s Purse. Called Operation Christmas Child, the program uses gift packages with Christian messages to persuade children in developing nations to convert to Christianity. Samaritan’s Purse is led by evangelical minister Franklin Graham.
In addition to helping Graham’s evangelical operation, several schools in the district have also partnered with Adventures in Missions™, a Christian organization, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) to promote an evangelizing trip to Guatemala, attended by two high school teachers and advertised using school resources. School district officials also participate in and promote Christian mission trips to Belize, and officials are encouraged to attend blessings and worship services at a local Christian church to prepare for the trips.“This public school district seems to be on a mission to promote Christianity, using taxpayer dollars for evangelical and missionary purposes,” said David Niose, legal director of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center. “As state entities, public schools must educate students in a neutral environment, not push one particular religious belief.”
“By pressuring public school children into participating in programs that proselytize Christianity, the school district is marginalizing religious minorities and students with no religion at all,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association.
The group sent letters to the school, but they were completely ignored. Bad career move.