AHA News |  

Minnesota Public School Told to End Field Trips to Christian Church

Humanist Legal Center Involvement Comes after Family Complaint Brushed Off

For Immediate Release

Contact:

Maggie Ardiente, mardiente@americanhumanist.org, 202-238-9088 x116
Monica Miller, mmiller@americanhumanist.org, 202-238-9088 x 120

(Washington, DC, Feb. 3, 2014) — A Minnesota public school is being warned by the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center to stop sending students on unconstitutional field trips to a nearby Christian church to create “manna” packages for a Christian nonprofit group. The letter was sent today by the Appignani Humanist Legal Center (AHLC) to the administrators of the School of Engineering and Arts in Golden Valley, MN, Principal Kim Hiel and Executive Director of Academics Lori Simon after the AHLC was alerted to the violation by a family enrolled in the suburban Minneapolis school. The letter asserts that the “school has quite clearly violated the Establishment Clause by directing students to attend a pervasively Christian, proselytizing environment.”

The church in question, Calvary Lutheran Church, is associated with the Feed My Starving Children program, which describes itself as believing “that there is one God, in three persons: Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

“For public school administrators to send students to a religious environment to work on a religious mission with a religious organization is unconstitutional,” said Appignani Humanist Legal Center attorney Monica Miller. “This is a clear violation of the separation of church and state.”

The letter states, “We fully understand that at least one purpose of this field trip was to have the children participate in charity work intended to assist poverty-stricken people. Such good intentions, however, can be pursued in innumerable other ways that do not involve immersing the unsuspecting children into a theologically-charged environment.”

School administrators refused a previous request from the family to stop the practice after their complaint was made last year.

The letter asks for a reply within two weeks.

###

Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, DC, the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other non-religious Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming philosophy of humanism, which—without beliefs in any gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

Special thanks to the Louis J. Appignani Foundation for their support of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.

American Humanist Association

Christianity and Humanism compared. . .

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy Friday everyone!!! More comics at: http://hmn.st/1wOZhEE

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

On June 19, 2014, Amanda Scott testified before the Mobile, Alabama, County Com...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

This is a 5-minute video of students and parents gathered on the football field...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Caption this photo taken at the 2014 World Humanist Congress in Oxford, England...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

This video shows how some religious people react to homosexuality. When you put...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

The newest issue of the Humanist Magazine is out! Take a look! Clay Farris Naff...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

The Jackson Public School District has agreed to cease including religious activ...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Dave Niose, Legal Director of the AHLC, has been featured on CBS46 in Atlanta, G...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

The Humanist Hour Podcast #113 out now! Jeremy Chappell talks about the “spiritu...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

This morning, the American Humanist Association issued a press release regarding...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Why are some of the poorest regions in America also the most religious? A new st...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Listen up D.C., Maryland, and Virginia Humanists! Want to meet local free-thinke...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

While vandalism may not be the technique I would use to express my views, some...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

In his new Huffington Post article, Roy Speckhardt discusses prejudice and the k...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Sonja Eggerickx, president of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

We just got a nice donation from the AmazonSmile Foundation thanks to people lik...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

The American Humanist Association stands up for the rights of teachers of minori...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

AHA Legislative Associate Matthew Bulger responds to some recent comments by U.S...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

We need more nontheistic politicians in the United States!

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy Friday!! Here is a wonderful poem from Dan Moran. Check It Out!

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

Well, I am not so sure how common this dilemma is, but it is interesting anyway!

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

Hooray! Florida's same-sex marriage ban struck down! Check it out! http://hmn.s...

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

New evidence supporting the theory of evolution has been found in parasite ants...

10 days ago