Posted: Wednesday, August 20th 2014 at 10:20am
AHA legal director questions 'signal' Hall schools supt. is sending to community
By Ken Stanford Staff
The immediate past president of the American Humanist Association (AHA) says the Hall County Schools Superintendent is sending a signal that a "culture of Christian predominance" can continue in the school system.
David Niose also serves as the legal director of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center (AHLC), running the AHLC's Massachusetts office. Appignani Humanist Legal Center is an arm of the AHA.
The AHA sent the school system a letter last week expressing concern that football coaches were leading team prayers as part of school-sanctioned functions and also questioned the inclusion of references to biblical passages on some football-related items. (See earlier story. First link below.)
In response to a message Will Schofield sent to school system employees Tuesday, Niose said Wednesday morning "it is not encouraging that the superintendent referred to students' religious freedom while in school as 'almost unlimited,' as that sends a signal to the community that a culture of Christian predominance can continue."
Niose added that "based on extensive feedback that we've received from the community, it's clear that non-Christians feel that the atmosphere of Christian privilege is overwhelming, and the Schofield statement seems more concerned about appeasing the majority than addressing that problem."
He also noted that Schofield's message does not address the numerous issues raised by AHA in its letter, "so we await a more direct and comprehensive response."
Schofield said he does not plan to issue a public response to AHA's letter. He went on to remind all school system employees of their religious rights - and their limitations, as well, noting that students have an almost unlimited right to express their views. (See separate story. Second link below.)
Link: Atheist group threatens lawsuit against Chestatee HS for football prayer
Link: Schofield reminds system employees of religious rights, limitations
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