Situation in Lumpkin County is worse than we thought.

Remember Lumpkin County High School where teachers abandoned their class to pray with students?  New facts have come to light revealing the situation as much, much worst than we previously thought.  Some of the highlights include:

  1. That 12 teachers and staff were involved, not the four originally reported
  2. That at least 3 of the teachers and staff involved are related to Lumpkin County Board of Education members
  3. That Lumpkin County High School principal Conner was “at the very least aware the incident was occurring” and that he had violated the Constitution in similar ways in the past.
  4. That adults individuals, with no affiliation to the school whatsoever, entered campus, entered the school, walked to the gym, and participated in the prayers.    One of the interlopers entered the cafeteria and harangued students for not participating in the prayers.

What’s more, the situation with the biology teacher is particularly loathsome, and it gives us some insight to the principal we’re dealing with:

In a New York Times article from 2006, a biology teacher, wishing to teach evolution, had to go through a meeting with Conner regarding her class.  She relates the experience:

“He took a Bible off the bookshelf behind him and said, ‘[I] believe in everything in this book, do you?’  I told him, ‘I really feel uncomfortable about your asking that question.’  [But] he wouldn’t let it go.”

This teacher eventually had to fill out a grievance because she was being ‘threatened and harassed” by staff for following the approved curriculum.  This all occurred under Conner’s, and for that matter, your, watch.  This presents serious issues regarding Conner’s knowledge and complicity in the illegal incident.  Surely if he’s willing to inject religion into the public school in one instance he is willing to facilitate, participate, or allow it in another instance.

As if having this particular principal still in power, even after he attempted to coerce a teacher into sabotaging the education of the school’s students, wasn’t bad enough, the nepotism of having teachers who are related to board members could explain the complete inaction of superintendent Moye.  It also paints a clear picture of what anybody in the local area who elects to fight this is up against.  Whoever pushes back will be treated like the locals like god treats Christians: they will attempt to intimidate them into complying with their demands.

They need our support.  I wrote a letter to superintendent Dewey Moye.  He needs more of them.  He needs the pressure of knowing that intimidation will not occur in secret.  If Dewey Moye is to fight to keep his school illegally beholden to religious interests, he must know that the fight will be national, even global, and that he and the believers encouraging him will have to intimidate far more than one person.

So first,share it around.  Then, send your letters to superintendent Dewey Moye at  Then, send me your letters to me.  I’ll post a new one every day as long as I’m getting them.

People like Jessica Ahlquist should never have to fight alone.  Let’s make sure whoever stands against the majority of eager lawbreakers in Lumpkin knows we have their back.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Glodson

    This is a benefit of the internet. We can expose these snakes for what they are. Bullies and ideologues. Connor has no business in education. If he wants to bring people to god, go and build a fucking church.

  • Art_Vandelay

    My dream is for someone to wave a bible at me and say, “I believe in everything in this book, do you?” You may as well just say “I’m a vile, disgusting human being, are you?”

    • Loqi

      No kidding. That’s just begging for, “So you believe I should stone the students to death instead of giving them detention when they get unruly?”

      • Art_Vandelay


        “That sophomore cheerleader that got raped by the star quarterback last year…should we make her marry him or just stone her to death?”

        • Zinc Avenger

          Wait, wouldn’t that mean she wouldn’t be a virgin on her wedding night, so even if she married him she’d still have to be stoned to death?

          Wouldn’t it just be simpler for good Christians to lay out the situations in which a woman SHOULDN’T be stoned to death?

          • Art_Vandelay

            Wow. Never considered that. That’s one hell of a Catch-22.

          • Andrew Kohler

            Apparently what really matters is that the woman’s virginity was “taken,” as they like to say, by her husband. Sure, the wedding night is preferable, but it’s okay if it was before the wedding night–just so long as it wasn’t *consensual.*

          • Zinc Avenger

            “–just so long as it wasn’t *consensual*”

            Whew. For a second there I thought there might’ve been some loophole that would have allowed a slutty slut to go unpunished. For slutting.

          • islandbrewer

            You can tell if it’s consensual if they “cry out” or not. Says so in da book.

          • busterggi

            There aren’t any – women are all sinners per the OT, its just of matter of when to stone them.

  • Jasper

    This should be career-ending for everyone involved.

    • Glodson

      Of course, “should” is the key word.

    • Loqi

      I can already hear the cries of persecution.

  • Drakk

    ‘[I] believe in everything in this book, do you?’

    Really? How many times a week does he beat his slaves?

  • Reginald Selkirk

    That adults individuals, with no affiliation to the school whatsoever,
    entered campus, entered the school, walked to the gym, and participated
    in the prayers

    That doesn’t sound very spontaneous. How did they know a prayer session had broken out?

    • Glodson

      The Jesus?

    • islandbrewer

      Oooh! The fake galleons they used while they were in Dumbledore’s Army using the Room of Requirement practicing spells and counter spells! Neville kept his, right?

      Wait, do I have the right story? Shit.

  • Sean Sherman

    JT – I was at a local atheist group where these young and brave kids were brought up. Ideas on how we can support them are always welcome.

    • Glodson

      My only suggests are likely ones you folks have already thought up, write letters. And show up at board meetings to ask questions. In this setting, pay attention to the rules of decorum, of course. But don’t be afraid to ask questions that will make them uncomfortable.

      The other thought is if there’s a population of non-christians, be sure to try and include them. Make it less about us(Atheists and the irreligious) versus them, but rather about how they are not protecting the rights of all their students. Make it about the multiple in fractions that Conner as committed.

      Wish I had better stuff, but really, I’m sure all I got is stuff you folks are already on top of. Good luck, and I’ll try to get a few more letters sent in from others. Might help, they just might be ignored too.