September 2018 Chuch & State Magazine - September 2018

Court Rules Against Colo. School Christian Fundraiser

  Rokia Hassanein

A federal court in Colorado has ruled that a public school district violated church-state separation when it raised money for a Christian group.

The case, American Humanist Association, et als, vs. Douglas County School District, was filed in 2014 and included plaintiffs who were concerned about the Douglas County School District’s sponsoring Christianity through various activities.

The school district used school hours to raise money for a Christian mission trip to certain underdeveloped countries. The activities included making Christian and non-Christian students craft things such as “salva­tion bracelets” that the Christian group would gift to others.

The American Humanist Association (AHA), which sponsored the lawsuit, lauded the ruling. 

“Religious minorities in public schools should never be faced with school-sponsored activity that promotes the majority religion,” David Niose, AHA legal director, said in a statement. “The court’s ruling correctly finds that the district’s activities had the effect of promoting religion and excessively entangled the government with religion.”

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