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

VICTORY! In response to the demand of the AHA, with help from the Military Asso...

11 hours ago

American Humanist Association

What do kids say about God? Some in this group say he creates apples, is kinda l...

15 hours ago

American Humanist Association

The battle continues for Texas atheist group, the Metroplex Atheists Rowlett. Th...

18 hours ago

American Humanist Association

The Satanic Temple decides to join in the fun when a Florida judge ruled in favo...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

The behavior of Ray Rice is not just one single occurrence that needs to be reme...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

What is your opinion on using crowd-funding to raise money for an abortion? Ge...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Is America's Army becoming God's Army? From bible distribution to requiring the...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Monica Miller, attorney for AHA's Appignani Humanist Legal Center, appeared live...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Communications Associate, Merrill Miller, reports on the variety of reactions we...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Already, many students have taken a stand by sitting out the Pledge of Allegianc...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Tucker Carlson's Daily Caller had harsh words for the AHA this week in covering...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Great article in the Huffington Post from Michael LaMasa discussing the ever-blu...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

What would you say to someone who is afraid to come out as an atheist in fear of...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Episode Ten of the Cartoon History of Humanism is now out on thehumanist.com!...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Who is worried about the militarization of police? I am! Get TheHumanist.com by...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Earlier this week, The Daily Caller, a website run by Tucker Carlson, ran an obn...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Where do you think Humanists should stand on animal rights?

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

This morning Roy Speckhardt spoke with Newsmax about AHA's "Dont Say The Pledge"...

8 days ago