The Freedom From Religion Foundation, which advocates for atheists, agnostics, and non-theists, has persuaded a Kansas school district to discontinue their participation in Samaritan’s Purse’s ‘Operation Christmas Child’ because of the program’s strong Christian beliefs.
According to The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s website, after a school’s staff member reached out to the atheistic watchdog organization, they filed a complaint with the school’s Superintendent Tony Helfrich.
The complaint stated that the staff member reported multiple “egregious constitutional violations” that have occurred at Liberty Middle School in Pratt, Kansas. The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s attorney, Christopher Line, cited that “Vice Principal Ron Hill has been using his position to promote and endorse his personal religious beliefs to students.”
Attorney Line continues:
“Our complainant reports that on See You at the Pole Day, Mr. Hill announced the event over the intercom, personally invited students to the event, and then led students in prayer. We understand that Mr. Hill also includes religious messages and bible quotes in his official District communications, and that recently during morning announcements he said, “we need to remember to give all the glory to God, whether others agree with it or not, and I don’t care if I offend anyone by saying that.” We understand that bible verses or references to God and Jesus are often included in the morning announcements. Mr. Hill has also reportedly played Christian music during class and made religious statements to students, including telling a group of students that ‘God is sad when you don’t tuck in your shirts. You are disrespecting God.’”
“We write to ensure that the District takes immediate action to cease promoting and endorsing Christianity in its schools,” the complaint states. It claims that Principal Ryan Creadick directed Liberty Middle School’s staff to participate in Samaritan’s Purse’s ‘shoebox ministry,’ and that “the district must ensure that it’s staff members, Vice Principal Hill, and Principal Creadick will no longer promote or endorse religion to students.”