This Is the Real Reason an Atheist Club Isn’t Forming at Pisgah High School

I spent most of Friday afternoon speaking to multiple people involved with the Pisgah High School saga and you won’t believe what’s happening there now… I thought the story ended after I wrote my last post about it, but there’s so much more to it. And it’s nasty stuff.

First, a quick recap:

Earlier this year, student Ben Wilson attempted to begin an atheist group at the Canton, North Carolina school and claimed a school official told him he should just try joining a different club because this one wouldn’t “fit in” with the community. The Secular Student Alliance sent a letter to the school on his behalf, stating that the school had to allow the group to form, but no response was sent back.

Ben left the school after first semester, so his sister Kalei (pronounced KAY-lee) decided to continue what he started… and she was also denied. That’s when the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the state’s ACLU got involved, sending a letter of their own. The school quickly agreed to allow the club to form after that.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="300"]Kalei Wilson[/caption]

Almost immediately, students expressed interest in joining the club and two faculty members offered to be the club’s sponsors.

But Kalei made it clear last week that the club would not be forming after a series of threats and verbal attacks.

That gets us up to speed. As I said, I thought the story ended there. It wasn’t a happy ending but I couldn’t blame Kalei for her decision. If I were receiving threats and feeling picked on at school, I’d probably do the same thing. But I had to admit it was an abrupt 180 from a student who had already shown an incredible amount of courage…

[Read more...]


Stay in touch! Like Friendly Atheist on Facebook:

Montana Diocese Implicated in 350 Sex-Abuse Cases Discovers Morality, Fires Teacher For Getting Pregnant

Late last week, George Leo Thomas, bishop of the Helena, Montana archdiocese, received an unwelcome surprise: a petition calling out the Catholic hierarchy for the callous dismissal of a pregnant schoolteacher. The statement had been signed by 20,000 people and received national attention.

The case centers on Shaela Evenson of Butte Central Elementary-Junior High School, a literature and phys-ed teacher of eight years. An anonymous letter the school received a few months ago charged that Evenson, who isn’t married, was pregnant; when she confirmed it, the Catholic institution felt it had grounds to fire her.

[Read more...]


Stay in touch! Like Friendly Atheist on Facebook:

If Faculty Members Don’t Accept Young Earth Creationism, This Christian College May Fire Them

Here’s how you know the college you go to is a really shitty one: Administrators force faculty members to sign pledges that they won’t teach real science.

That’s what’s happening right now at Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because it’s named after William Jennings Bryan who defended Creationism in the Scopes Money Trial nearly a century ago.

The current Statement of Faith that professors at the school must adhere to says this:

[We believe] that the origin of man was by fiat of God in the act of creation as related in the Book of Genesis; that he was created in the image of God; that he sinned and thereby incurred physical and spiritual death;

If you believe in theistic evolution — that God started the process but evolution took over after that — you could twist that statement to suit your needs.

But on Friday, school officials told faculty members they had to sign a clarification to that statement, one that would eliminate theistic evolution as a possible interpretation:



[Read more...]


Stay in touch! Like Friendly Atheist on Facebook:

After Long Battle to Form High School Atheist Group, Student Bows Out After ‘Numerous Threats’ and ‘Verbal Attacks’

Over the last month, I wrote a few posts about how administrators at Pisgah High School in Canton, North Carolina were refusing to allow the formation of an atheist club run by 15-year-old Kalei Wilson (pronounced KAY-lee). They caved in days later, presumably from all the bad publicity:

It took letters from both the Secular Student Alliance and the Freedom From Religion Foundation (along with the ACLU of North Carolina) to convince school officials to change their minds.

The last time I spoke to Kalei, she told me she would be meeting with her principal to discuss the process of forming the group. Nearly a dozen students had expressed interest in joining the club and a couple of faculty members told her they would be glad to sponsor it.

But that all came to a halt yesterday.

[Read more...]


Stay in touch! Like Friendly Atheist on Facebook:

Bob Jones University Allows GRACE to Continue Investigation of On-Campus Sexual Abuse

Bob Jones University, recently in the news for firing the Christian sex-abuse investigators tasked with investigating the college’s abuse-permissive culture, has gone back on that decision — “after much discussion and prayer,” naturally.

Executive Vice President of Operations Marshall Franklin appeared on video to announce BJU’s intention to reinstate GRACE [Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment]. Not much was said about the reasons for either decision, though he indicated that the school’s “primary concern was for former students,” presumably the ones who elected to contribute to the GRACE investigation in the first place:



[Read more...]


Stay in touch! Like Friendly Atheist on Facebook:

CLOSE | X

HIDE | X