For Immediate Release
Merrill Miller, 202-238-9088 ext. 105, firstname.lastname@example.org
Monica Miller, 202-238-9088 ext. 120, email@example.com
(Washington, D.C., Oct. 14, 2014)—In response to a letter sent yesterday on behalf of a high school student by the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center, a teacher at Blairsville High School in Blairsville, Pennsylvania, has removed a Christian-themed calendar prominently displayed in her classroom.
“We’re pleased that the school officials promptly responded to our letter to address this Establishment Clause violation,” said Monica Miller, an attorney with the Appignani Humanist Legal Center. “The Supreme Court has stressed that it is no defense that the religious practices may be relatively minor encroachments on the First Amendment; in the words of James Madison, ‘it is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties,’” Miller added.
The high school teacher conspicuously displayed an old calendar in the classroom on a board that was visible to students. The calendar prominently featured Bible verses. The letter stated that this was a promotion of religion over non-religion and Christianity in particular by the public school. The letter demanded that the calendar be removed and that the teacher and other school district staff refrain from displaying similar religious materials.
Today the student reported to the Appignani Humanist Legal Center that the religious calendar had been removed.
A copy of the letter sent to the school 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.