Ohio Public School District Includes “Higher Power Exists” as a Core Value for Students

A few weeks ago, a student sent me a page from the Rossford Exempted Village Schools handbook. The Ohio public school district listed its “core values” in the book and one of them was acknowledging that a “Higher power exists”:

That was out of place and illegal… (not to mention really grammatically awkward).

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An Outdoor “Advance” for Atheists in the Smokey Mountains This July

Several years ago, I had the pleasure of attending the FFRF-sponsored Lake Hypatia Freethought Advance (because atheists don’t “retreat,” dammit) in Talladega, Alabama. Between the softball game (atheists vs. Agnostics), picnic-like atmosphere, great talks, and moment of bedlam (because we need to stop being silent), it was a fantastic weekend.

So I’m sad to hear that, due to some personal matters, the organizers needed some time off this year — though they will hopefully be back in 2016. But the Rationalists of East Tennessee will be hosting an alternative event in its place with FFRF’s (secular) blessing.

It’ll take place in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in Townsend, TN on Fourth of July weekend.

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What I Learned from Fighting Back Against Public School Bible Distributions

This is a guest post written by Andrew Seidel. He is a staff attorney at the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

When bibles were distributed in Orange County Public Schools in January of 2013, I wrote a letter to the school district on behalf of FFRF asking them to “halt all distributions” (See Exhibit D). Earlier this year the district finally banned all such distributions, but only after we sued.

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California Educator Will Stop Showing the Bill Nye/Ken Ham Debate in Class After Being Reprimanded

Last week, we learned that high school science teacher Brandon Pettenger of Arroyo Grande High School in California was showing students the Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate in class, in addition to having them summarize blog posts on Creationist websites.

[caption width="550" align="alignnone"]This doesn’t belong in a science class[/caption]

Pettenger said he did this in order to “present both sides of the argument” to students — as if one form of anti-evolution nonsense takes precedence over all the others.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation and the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science teamed up to write a letter to the District objecting to this backdoor approach to teaching Creationism.

I’m happy to say that the District took swift action in putting a stop to it:

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A California Megachurch Took Over a Local Public School Board and the Results are Disastrous

Last year, I posted about the Chino Valley Unified School District (in California), where Board of Education meetings resembled church services.

That’s not an exaggeration at all. Here’s just a snippet of what a meeting looked like:



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