For Immediate Release
Merrill Miller, 202-238-9088 ext. 105, firstname.lastname@example.org
David Niose, 202-238-9088 ext. 119, email@example.com
Monica Miller, 202-238-9088 ext. 120, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Washington, D.C., Sept. 25, 2014)—Today the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent a letter to officials at the Madison County School District in Danielsville, Georgia, on behalf of a concerned citizen about a monument on school district property.
According to the letter, the monument’s prominent inclusion of biblical scripture, combined with the high school’s logo, send the message that the school district endorses religion, specifically Christianity, in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The monument, a large permanent sculpture entitled “Red Raider,” is located in the Madison High School football stadium and was unveiled this school year. The sculpture includes religious language and Christian biblical references, such as quotations from Romans 8:31 and Philippians 4:13. The monument also features the Madison High School logo, and the high school football team customarily touches the sculpture before home games.
“Numerous cases make clear that public schools are prohibited from taking a position, or even appearing to take a position, on religious belief,” said Monica Miller, an attorney with the Appignani Humanist Legal Center. “Erecting a monument on school property that includes Christian scripture sends the unequivocal message to school children that the school is endorsing religion.”
“Promoting one religious perspective over all others is discriminatory toward students of religious minorities and toward humanist and atheist students,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association.
The letter demands that the school remove the monument or at least strip the monument of all religious references. The letter also asks that the school keep the monument covered until such a removal can take place.
A copy of the letter can be viewed here.
Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., 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.