For Immediate Release
Merrill Miller, 202-238-9088 ext. 105, firstname.lastname@example.org
David Niose, 202-238-9088 ext. 119, email@example.com
(Denver, CO, Nov. 16, 2016)—Today the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center will defend the First Amendment right of local families in Douglas County, Colorado, to be free from religious coercion in public schools.
This morning, David Niose, legal director of the American Humanist Association, will argue to defend the standing of local families to bring a lawsuit against the Douglas County School District, which has repeatedly promoted evangelical Christian programs, despite warnings from the Appignani Humanist Legal Center. The Douglas County School District has participated in the evangelical program Operation Christmas Child, run by the organization Samaritan’s Purse and headed by evangelical minister Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham. The district also took part in the Adventures in Missions™ and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes programs’ proselytizing mission trips to Guatemala, as well as other religious activities.
“As taxpaying citizens with children in the school district, these families object to their schools supporting the efforts of Christian missions to convert children in developing countries,” said David Niose, legal director of the American Humanist Association. “Pressuring students to participate in religious programs in their public schools flies in the face of the separation of church and state that the Establishment Clause demands.”
The oral arguments will take place today at the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, 1823 Stout Street, Denver, Colorado, 80202, at 9:00 a.m. MST. David Niose, legal director of the American Humanist Association, will give the arguments and be available to speak with the media.
Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic 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.