For Immediate Release
Sam Gerard, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Washington, DC, May 11, 2020) – On Monday, leaders of the American Humanist Association (AHA) scolded Judson Independent School District (JISD) located in Live Oak, Texas for promoting prayer on a high school’s marquee, the school’s most prominent outdoor advertising tool.
The AHA’s letter details that for at least two weeks in April, the words “Just Pray” were prominently displayed on the Judson High School marquee at the entrance to the school. AHA’s Legal Director and Senior Counsel Monica Miller admonished in the letter that the display not only violates the First Amendment but that it also “divide[s] students, faculty, and staff along religious lines and alienates those who do not believe in prayer.”
“The Supreme Court, as well as circuit courts, have made it very clear that school sponsorship of a religious message, and prayer in particular, is unconstitutional. There’s no misinterpretation,” Miller explained.
The letter asks that JISD cease this display, as well as any other similar actions that violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
AHA Executive Director Roy Speckhardt added: “It is not the public school’s role in our community to endorse faith actions. JISD school officials should remedy this indiscretion immediately.”
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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.