Subscribe to RSS - Youth Activism

A Mo. Superintendent Decided To Preach During Graduation, And Students Are Letting Him Know It Was Inappropriate

Some Missouri public high school students are asking for an apology after their superintendent sermonized during their graduation ceremony on Saturday. 

Willard High School seniors stated that Superintendent Kent Medlin’s comments, which included prayers, were inappropriate and exclusive to Christians. (They’re also unconstitutional since the U.S. Supreme Court deemed it a violation of the First Amendment for public school officials to pray at school-sponsored events like graduation.)

Here’s How Young People Can Advocate For Religious Freedom And Church-State Separation – For Free!

Like a lot of college students, I often find myself short on funds and short on time. But I still want to get involved in the important causes that mean a lot to me, and I’m doing that. I just had to be a little creative.

I’m passionate about church-state separation and religious freedom. I find that the more I learn about this issue, the more determined I am to defend it. That’s why while interning for Americans United this semester, I want to share some ways that religious freedom advocates can be involved in the solution as well:

AU Essay Contest Asks HS Juniors and Seniors to Address Church-State Sep Issues in Public Schools

In 2007, Americans United argued in federal court that a public school district in New Jersey acted correctly when it ordered a football coach to stop praying with players and other students.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the school district’s favor against the coach, Marcus Borden of East Brunswick High School, in 2008 and confirmed that his actions were unconstitutional because they violated the First Amendment.   

Tell Us Your Story!

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has been fighting for church-state separation for 70 years. A vital part of our work has always involved listening to the voices of young people who find new and effective ways to speak out for religious freedom and stand up to those who use religion to harm others.

Each year, Americans United recognizes a young person under the age of 25 who has advocated for religious freedom and church-state separation in their community with the David Norr Youth Activist Award.

Americans United To Honor Investigative Journalist And Student Activist During Awards Ceremony

Author Jeff Sharlet And High School Student Jessica Ahlquist To Receive Recognition During Nov. 19 Ceremony

A journalist who exposed the inner workings of a shadowy Religious Right group and a Rhode Island student who courageously challenged illegal religious activity at her public school will both be recognized by Americans United for Separation of Church and State on November 19.

Jeff Sharlet, author of the best-selling books The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power and C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy, will receive Americans United’s Person of the Year Award.