Arizona High School Softball Players Allege They Were Kicked Off Their Team for Refusing to Pray

A team captain and two other players on a Mesa, Arizona public school softball team are suing after allegedly being booted from the team for refusing to lead team prayers.

The students claim that local Mormon parents and students, as well as coach Joseph Gordman, painted the girls as bullies who were jeopardizing “team morale and unity” over religious issues. The supposed offenses included not conducting and participating in team prayers, playing hip-hop music that “offended [the] religious sensitivities” of one student at a tournament, and one plaintiff’s social media postings.

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PA School District Says Ten Commandments Monument at Junior High Isn’t Religious Because It Includes a Bald Eagle

This is a picture of Connellsville Junior High East in Pennsylvania… with a Ten Commandments monument right in front of it. It’s been there since the Fraternal Order of Eagles donated it in 1957:

A couple of years ago, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Freedom From Religion Foundation wrote letters to the district to have it taken down, and it resulted in the monument being boarded up with plans for it to be donated to a local church.

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GRACE Releases Report on Bob Jones University’s Culture of Sexual Abuse

A chronic and systemic issue in the more conservative Christian community is a degree of insensitivity toward sexual abuse victims. Purity culture and abstinence teachings often result in shaming of the victim, rushing post-traumatic processing and recovery, and flippancy about the responsibility of the perpetrator for the abuse.

Bob Jones University, a hyper-conservative private Christian college in Greenville, South Carolina with about 3,000 students, has been under some scrutiny over the past few years over swirling reports of mishandling of sexual abuse cases and victim-blaming.

In November of 2012, BJU voluntarily hired GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) to investigate and report on their handling of cases of sexual assault, after a protest by alumni. Partway through the investigative process, BJU fired GRACE abruptly, but eventually rehired and renegotiated the relationship before continuing on with the investigation.

Yesterday, the final report went public.

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ACLU Asks School to Drop Religious Ties in Fundraiser to Fight Hunger in Tanzania

San Marcos Middle School is working on a fundraiser to provide 14,000 meals to children in Tanzania. This worthy goal, however, has attracted the attention of the ACLU for its ties to a Christian organization.

The school is partnering with a local nonprofit called Friends and Family Community Connection, with the support of Illinois-based Kids Around the World … Kids Around the World “exists to reach children around the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” according to the group’s website.

This is where the difficulty for the school comes in — it runs afoul of California law for a public school (or other branch of the government) to partner with a religious organization.

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Minnesota Public School Finally Agrees to Stop Sending Students on a Field Trip to Church

Earlier this year, we learned that the School of Engineering and Arts in Golden Valley, Minnesota had sent children on a field to a local Christian church (Calvary Lutheran Church) in order to package food for the hungry for a separate Christian non-profit group (Feed My Starving Children). Both the church and the non-profit were interested in spreading the Gospel.

According to a letter from the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center:

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