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

We're happy to welcome a new chapter, Freethought Fort Wayne, to the American Hu...

16 hours ago

American Humanist Association

"It’s not just about the freedom to enjoy marijuana anymore...This is about the...

19 hours ago

American Humanist Association

There's only a few holiday shopping days left: Buy your favorite freethinker a g...

21 hours ago

American Humanist Association

Bill Nye, our favorite science guy, explains evolution by using emoji..."emojica...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Out today! Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on Reason...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Congratulations to the Las Vegas Coalition of Reason on the occasion of their of...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

The Humanist Service Corps has volunteer positions open beginning in summer 2015...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

In a response to a letter sent by the AHA, today we are pleased to report that t...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Most Americans say they accept Christian displays on public property, regardless...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

UBER car service has been getting in to some trouble lately, but will that stop...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

A date for history, as today marks the anniversary of the ratification of the U....

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

One more day! Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on Rea...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

It's almost here! Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy Friday everyone! Enjoy some comics!

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Ethical Dilemma time! How do you respond when someone wishes you a merry Christm...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Clay Farris Naff gives his humanist perspective on the Senate Torture Report. W...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

An Agnostic Christmas Carol by Marcy Campbell.

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

We're happy to welcome a new chapter, Mississippi Humanist Association, to the A...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

This week on the Humanist Hour Podcast, Bo Bennett speaks with Magician/Comedian...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

AHA Legal Director David Niose will be on The Michael Medved Show in 10 minutes...

8 days ago