Atheism Is Spreading to High Schools

I think this is the most telling part about the Secular Student Alliance’s recent press release to the media:

The Secular Student Alliance, a national nonprofit devoted to supporting nonreligious students, announced early success in its expanded efforts to foster groups for secular high school students. In the past month alone, five new high school groups have affiliated with the SSA, after it took four years for the first twelve to join.

“Every teenager deserves a safe space to meet with like minded peers, but hostile administrations and prejudiced communities are stonewalling them from having it,” said [JT Eberhard, Campus Organizer and High School Specialist.]. “We’re gearing up to give the students the backing they need. Our goal is to see 50 groups for secular high school students by the end of 2011.”

If you’re a high school student interested in starting an atheist group, get in touch with JT and he can give you all the pointers you need!

  • RJ

    Awesome! Keep it up SSA.

  • DSwi

    Hi, I’m new here, and do not want to start anything, I just have a question: Are these groups run as official registered clubs at a High School, or as an off-campus group not affiliated with the schools?

    If it is the former, then I would question the validity of these groups. I don’t totally remember high school, but I don’t remember there being any Christian, or other religious after school clubs run by the High School. It would seem that the same separation of Church and State issues that would not allow a Christian after school group would apply to a “Secular Club” whose only main purpose is to talk about being Secular (other than say Chess Club or Speech Team which is inherently Secular, but not necessarily dwelling on that fact). Right?

    If it is the latter, then I say “hooray” more power to you! Similar to groups like CCD, or Young Life, or whatever, I think its cool that there would be a place for young people to explore something other than the faith they were brought up to believe in. It this is the case, how do school administrators get in the way?

    Hemant says: All the groups would need to be affiliated with their high school, as far as I know. Many public high schools do allow the formation of religious after-school groups, and there’s no legal problem with that as long as these groups can exist for people of any faith or no faith.

  • http://www.bluefrogdesignstudios.com/thebluefrogsays/ The Big Blue Frog

    This is good news. If I had knew any high school students who were skeptics, I’d encourage them to start a chapter. Unfortunately, I’m an old fogie with old friends.

  • clementw

    I know that both Public and School libraries get gifts/donations of magazine subscriptions from time to time, so I was wondering if anyone had heard of any secular or atheist group(s) that had a project/program to pool money to buy subscriptions of secular/atheist magazine for libraries around the US. I plan to donate a magazine subscript to the local high school in the future, but it would be nice to give a couple of bucks to have subscriptions given out around the country.

  • http://rrlane.blogspot.com Rich Lane

    @DSwi, Our school has a couple of clubs that are religious, and one of them at least was advised by a faculty member. They took no class time, and were completely voluntary, so I don’t think there was any constitutional problems, and there shouldn’t be for similar atheist/humanist/free thinker groups.

  • Josh

    This is too awesome for words. I wish I’d had somebosy like this to reach out to back in school.

    By the way DSwi, my high school had no less than 3 official registered clubs for christians: the sunday school type one, the one for athletes, and the prayer meeting one. (They were probably different denominations or something but that’s how I remember them.) Not to mention the republican one, which usually started with a prayer. And of course the manditory moment of silence.

  • flatlander100

    Hmmmm… Seems to em atheism has always been present to some degree among HS students. What’s happening now is, it’s becoming a bit more visible. Which is a good thing.

  • http://twitter.com/Jourreve Reve

    That’s great! I’d love to start some kind of atheist club at my school, but I don’t think there’d be any demand. It’s an extremely tiny school, and the few clubs we do have are largely forgotten and overshadowed by the athletic program — the football team alone has more people than the band, art, chess, and drama clubs combined. It’s a bit depressing, haha.

  • Chuckles

    The farther away we get from teaching creation instead of evolution the happier I am.


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