For Immediate Release
Kate Uesugi, firstname.lastname@example.org, 808-228-6471
(Washington, DC, February 23, 2021) – Today, the American Humanist Association (AHA)’s legal director threatened Texas school officials with legal action over ongoing religious indoctrination occurring at Round Rock Independent School District in Texas.
The AHA’s demand letter details that a kindergarten teacher at Chandler Oaks Elementary School repeatedly promotes prayer and church attendance to her impressionable students. AHA’s Legal Director and Senior Counsel Monica Miller admonished the teacher’s conduct, explaining how it violates the Establishment Clause in three key respects: “encouraging prayer and church attendance to a captive audience of kindergarten students,” doing so “during instructional time,” and “influencing students to go to church.”
“No analysis is necessary for a Court to find your school’s moment of silence practice—which is used directly by teachers to encourage prayer and church attendance—unconstitutional,” Miller explained. The letter serves as an official notice of the unconstitutional activity and demands that the school district put a stop to this and any similar illegal activity immediately.
AHA Executive Director Roy Speckhardt added: “We are appalled to see this kind of abuse of authority by public school teachers. The AHA stands ready to assist in the fight to protect public school students from this kind of encroachment on their right to a public education free of religious coercion.”
Read the letter here.
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 worldview of humanism, which—without beliefs in 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.