In Response to Atheist Literature Distribution, One Christian Student Poured Water on Pamphlets

Last week, atheists distributed books and pamphlets at 11 high schools in Orange County, Florida in response to a similar distribution by Christian groups earlier in the year.

I’m hoping to have more information on how that went soon, but one response was worth sharing: At Boone High School in Orlando, one student named Heather told a television reporter that she poured water on the atheist literature (0:42 mark):

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School Board Member Resigns in Protest After Colleagues Decide to Vote on Prayers at Meetings

The Rockingham County Board of Education (North Carolina) has decided to vote on whether or not they should pray at meetings at the request of board member Ron Price. They currently have a moment of silence but that could change after the May 13 meeting. And we all know prayer doesn’t count unless everyone else can hear it.

Board member Leonard Pryor won’t be around for that vote, though, because he resigned in protest this week:

In a letter he sent to Chairwoman Nell Rose on May 1, Pryor wrote:

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Is a High School Athlete’s Gesture to God Worth a Disqualification?

Columbus High School athlete Derrick Hayes ran the anchor leg for his track team’s 4 x 100-meter relay. Last week, he helped win the race that would have qualified his team for the state tournament… but tournament officials said he broke the rules and wouldn’t be allowed to move on.

His violation?

As Hayes crossed the finish line in first, he “put his hand by his ear and just pointed to the heavens,” Hayes’ father said.

Officials ruled that the gesture violated a state scholastic rule against excessive celebration, which includes raising one’s hands. The team was disqualified, and barred from competing at the state championships.

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Columnist: We Must Save Our Schools from Creationism

Syndicated columnist Tina Dupuy was raised as a Creationist but eventually discovered science. In a recent column she talked about why it’s so important that we not let Christian myth make its way into our public schools and she does it with the sort of rhetoric you rarely see from people who don’t have a personal stake in the matter:

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After Turning Last Year’s Graduation Into a Church Service, a Superintendent Finally Sees the Light

At last year’s graduation ceremony for Veterans High School in Georgia, Superintendent Robin Hines went full-force in making sure Christianity was honored along with the students. The event included a formal prayer, the singing of a gospel song (“Find Your Wings” by Mark Harris), and Hines himself spoke to the students about how they needed to “live life with a strong faith in God.”

Wes Bryant, an actual veteran who was there to watch his niece graduate, couldn’t believe what he was hearing so he alerted the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which sent the school a complaint letter:

“It’s really angering to come back and be exposed to that — to be expected to be a Christian wherever I’m at and not have your beliefs or lack of belief honored in your community,” said Bryant, an atheist, when reached by phone Monday. “(Christianity) is the majority religion, we know that, but it is nonetheless honoring one religion at a public school forum.”

“It alienates everyone else that doesn’t believe the same way, and it does send a message from the school, which does in some way represent the government,” he said.

At the time, Hines made no promise of changing anything in the future, and that’s usually a bad sign. You would expect him to keep things just the way they are.

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