Why Does This Public Charter School Have Students Give Thanks to a ‘Creator’?

If you’re a charter school — and thus eligible for taxpayer money — in North Carolina, there are some rules you have to follow. Like this one:

As with other public schools in North Carolina, public charter schools must be non-religious in their programs, admissions policies, governance, employment practices and all other operations. Like other public schools, however, public charter schools may enter into partnerships with any community group for secular purposes. Public charter schools must sign off yearly that they are not religious-based entities.

Which means Hope Elementary Charter School in North Carolina has some explaining to do about this…:

Students are encouraged to memorize the Creed and recite the creed daily after morning announcements.

I am special because I have been made in the Creator’s image

Umm… how is that “non-religious” in nature?

Glancing around the interwebs, it’s not hard to find the history of the school (PDF). It “was established in 1998 as a private Christian school under the direction of Building Together Ministries. Hope began operating as a charter school in July 2001.”

Maybe they just forgot to update their website to reflect its non-religious nature.

It’s only been a little over a decade. These things take time, right?

I’ve contacted the principal to get her response to all this. I would like to hear that there really is no religion in the school and that the sentence will be scrubbed immediately. But if it doesn’t change, FFRF will be notified.

(Thanks to Richard for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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