For Immediate Release
Sam Gerard, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-238-9088 ext. 105
(Washington, D.C., February 19, 2020)—The American Humanist Association (AHA) demands the Somerset Independent School District in Texas remove a proselytizing Christian display: a classroom door display that proclaims, in large font, “I always thought LOVE was shaped like a [heart] But LOVE is actually shaped like a [Christian Cross],” with cutouts of a heart and a Christian cross.
The AHA previously sent a letter to the Somerset ISD in December of 2019 to demand they remove an illegal display on the elementary library bulletin board, a quote from the Bible (Genesis 1) —“In the beginning God created…”—accompanied by a large representation of Earth below. The school district swiftly obliged.
The AHA’s Legal Director and Senior Counsel, Monica Miller, wrote a letter to the district today citing decades of Supreme Court and lower court precedent and demanding the latest religious display be removed. The letter states: “Let me be clear, this display must be removed immediately and if we receive another complaint regarding a school-sponsored Christian display, there will be no courtesy warning. You can and should expect litigation.”
“At this point, Somerset ISD school officials are willfully violating the First Amendment rights of their students. Unless corrective action is quickly taken and school officials learn to follow the law, these officials should expect to be held personally liable for this unabashed promotion of Christianity,” Miller noted.
“It is an embarrassment that this Texas school district has had to be warned of their illegal proselytizing twice in a matter of months.” AHA Executive Director Roy Speckhardt remarked.
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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.