AHA Demands Removing Unconstitutional Religious Classroom Displays

From Atheist Republic a piece by Lena M on resistance to attempts to impose religious symbolism on school children in the classroom.

In a fourth grade classroom at Regan Elementary school, many religious symbols and messages are displayed and it was the reason for an atheist parent to contact the American Humanist Association.

Actually, a nine-year-old daughter told her mother that she felt uncomfortable by the religious iconography and messages in her teacher’s classroom and the school administration refused to take action. After that a mother contacted the American Humanist Association (AHA) for help. The teacher’s displays consist of a sign urging students to “PRAY often,” a sign encouraging students to have “FAITH,” and at least two Christian crosses. There was also a sign reading: “LET YOUR FAITH BE BIGGER THAN YOUR FEAR.”

The American Humanist Association is a national nonprofit organization with over 600,000 supporters and members across the country, including many in Texas. The mission of their legal center is to protect one of the most fundamental principles of our democracy: the constitutional mandate requiring a separation of church and state.

The American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center just sent a letter to Quanah Independent School District in Texas to remind them of the law and, again, demands the signs’ removal from Reagan Elementary. The letter reads:

Affronted by these proselytizing displays in her daughter’s fourth-grade classroom, the parent promptly notified the administration of her concerns. But the administration refused to take action. Mrs. Jalomo informed the parent that the superintendent, Mr. Turner, told her that she is within her rights to have the displays in her room and that she would not have to remove them. Consequently, the parent contacted our office for assistance.

“The First Amendment’s Establishment Clause unequivocally prohibits public school teachers from using the classroom to proselytize Christianity and encourage young children to pray,” said Monica Miller, Senior Counsel at the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center. The government “may not promote or affiliate itself with any religious doctrine or organization,” “discriminate among persons on the basis of their religious beliefs and practices,” according to The First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.

At the end, it can only be pointed out that religious freedom should be respected in schools and everywhere but also someone’s religious freedom mustn’t threaten another one’s freedom from religion.

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