FFRF Files Federal Lawsuit Against Praying School Board in Chino Valley, California

If you attend a meeting of the Chino Valley Unified School District Board of Education (in California), you’d think you were at a church service.

School boards, unlike city councils, are not supposed to have prayer of any sort because children are often present. But these board members never got the memo:

… CVUSD Board of Education President James Na said [at a meeting] “our lives begin in the hospital and end in the church, and urged everyone who does not know Jesus Christ to go and find Him.” Mr. [Andrew] Cruz “closed by reading Psalm 143.”

In fact, there’s a Bible verse read at most meetings:



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After Satanists Plan to Give Away Coloring Books, School Board May Change Rules to Block Them

In January of 2013, World Changers of Florida, Inc. held Bible distributions at a number of public high schools in Orange County, Florida. No student would be forced to take one, but there would be a table set up where interested students could take a copy if they wanted:

This alone could have been illegal, but the Orange County School Board agreed that non-Christian groups could also have a distribution if they wanted.

When the Central Florida Freethought Community (CFFC) called their bluff and planned their own giveaways, they were heavily censored. Many of their books, they were told, could not be given away, including titles such as Sam HarrisLetter to a Christian Nation and Ibn Warraq‘s Why I am Not a Muslim.

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A Child Wants to Read the Bible in Class. School Officials Say That’s Fine. So Why the Lawsuit Threat?

I never understand why parents or grandparents (or their lawyers) run to the media the very moment they think they’re being oppressed by a school administrator when a simple phone call would probably clear everything up. At La Costa Heights Elementary School in Carlsbad, California, Craig and Lori Nordal, the grandparents of a fourth grade [Read More…]

A Good Idea? Maryland County Schools Decide To Strike All Religious Holidays From Next Year’s Calendar

Upsetting news: the 2015-2016 official school calendar of Montgomery County, Maryland won’t mention National Pasta Day (17 October).

Actually, I don’t give a damn about that, but Pastafarians might. In theory, and on principle, I’d have to side with their silliness, should it come to pass. If one religion gets its holidays listed, then, by rights, all others should receive the same state-recognized honor as soon as believers ask. It’s never a good idea for public schools to take the Constitution’s Establishment Clause lightly.

In recent months, Maryland Muslims have advocated putting one of Islam’s holidays, Eid al-Adha, on said calendar. More power to them, I say. Their request is at least as reasonable as the so-far fictional one in the Pastafarianism example above. But when the Montgomery Board of Education, spurred by the Muslim activists, re-evaluated the practice of including religious references on school calendars, a majority of the board’s members decided to treat everyone the same: by declining to print any religious holidays on its school schedule from now on.

School officials said the time off in December would become “winter break,” while the time off around the Easter holiday would be called “spring break.” Other days, such as Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, would be simply listed as a day when there is “no school for students and teachers.” … In practical terms, Montgomery schools will still be closed for the Christian and Jewish holidays, as in previous years, and students will still get the same days off, as planned.



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Injunction Filed on Behalf of Second Grader Who Wants to Hand Out Candy Canes with Biblical Messages on Them

About a year ago, 6-year-old Isaiah Martinez (below) went to Merced Elementary School in West Covina, California with a pack of candy canes in hand to give to his classmates. Each candy cane had attached to it a religious message that told the “legend of the candy cane” which, believe it or not, has everything to do with Jesus dying on a cross. (He’s wrong about that, by the way.)

His teacher, not wanting to get in trouble, removed the messages from the candy canes, then handed them back to Isaiah to give to his friends, apparently telling him “Jesus is not allowed in school.”

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