How to lose a lawsuit.

There is a Good News Club that meets at the local 4th and 5th grade building here in Mountain Home.  My father called me when he was made aware of it to ask what should be done.  I told him the same thing I tell everybody else in those situations: contact the school and tell them you want to do the exact same thing only for atheism.  Usually  the school shuts down everything, including the Good News Club, and the world wins.

But sometimes the school says “ok”, but gives the atheist group fewer privileges, which makes for a lawsuit they absolutely cannot win.  Obviously, this is not what I prefer.  School is for learning, not for preaching.  However, it’s not like we started the war and leaving it to be controlled by intrusive Christians is not a better alternative.  That’s what happened in Mountain Home, and now the local Freethinker group will be teaching classes on critical thinking at the school after hours (with pizza).

It’s also what happened in Orange County, Florida where a Christian group was distributing bibles to students at a number of public high schools – with the county’s permission.  So the Central Florida Freethought Community applied to distribute atheist literature.  The school conceded but then censored much of what the CFFC planned to distribute:

The reasoning?  Well, Hemant has the full break down on that.  I won’t reinvent the wheel by re-posting all of that.

Orange County is going to lose the lawsuit.  I’m never happy to see these things and I’m sure the FFRF isn’t either.  However, there’s always a small amount of satisfaction playing any game on easy mode, and lawsuits don’t get a whole lot easier than this.

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.

  • Dekker Van Wyk

    It would have been so much easier for the administrators of the Orange County School District to just flush big bags of money down the toilet or to set them on fire, now they will have to give them to the FFRF and the local plaintiffs when they (badly) lose the coming lawsuit. Don’t school districts have lawyers on retainer to prevent them from making such stupid moves by informing them of legal precedent and such?

    • Erik Wiseman

      The problem is that they only avoid the stupidity if the school and/or district officials *listen* to their lawyers.

  • baal

    “local Freethinker group will be teaching classes on critical thinking at the school after hours”

    You know, if we could identify all the schools with Good-News clubs and set up the same critical thinking clubs, I hypothesize we could collect data in a few years that shows one group winds up worse off academically and the other better.

    • Leiningen’s Ants

      Unfortunately, the Texas School Board is going to move the goalposts. You know it’s true. (edit: See also: that creationist elementary school test. The answer is always Jesus.)

    • Katatonic

      Do I see a Kickstarter campaign to fund that research? /ferventhope

      It’s astonishing that those parents & administrators cannot seem to learn that discrimination against non-xtians will COST the school district. Are there no attorneys working for the district who should be advising them to not go there? But then again, those same attorneys would stand to benefit financially from litigation so I guess it’s not in their best interest to ward off rampant stupidity.

      • Zinc Avenger

        2 Timothy 3:12

        Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

        1 Peter 4:13-14

        But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

        Sometimes the forces of Satan just aren’t up to the task, so a good Christian has got to help the persecution along to get those warm persecution fuzzies.

  • Jasper

    I love it. The sex and obscenity IN the Bible is fine. Pointing it out? – BANNED

    And seriously? Ingersoll?

  • Zinc Avenger

    When you oppose a system of thought based on a refusal to change, you find yourself winning the same victories over and over because they also refuse to learn.

  • Kaoru Negisa

    The Orange County stuff is really disappointing. It’s my back yard. I taught with several of the teachers who will suffer because of this. I know many of these administrators and thought they weren’t this stupid. I also know for a fact only one member of the school board is that stupid and their lawyers told people this would happen (the three other people in the room and I agreed). It’s such a self inflicted wound on their part.