There aren’t many Alabama High School Atheists. Well, that is what the christians want you to think and they will even issue death threats to keep it that way.
“One threatened to shoot me and every other atheist with a shotgun.”
This is what Duncan Henderson told reporters. He tried to start a “freethinker” club in his Junior High School.
…Duncan and his family say a former principal stonewalled it…
This has happened in many other locations. Often school administrators put up roadblock knowing that the difficult child will graduation soon and they can all go back to pretending that everyone is christian.
Now after two years of delays they have a club.
Things have calmed down and the club is established, thanks partly to principal Dr. Todd Freeman, the club’s sponsor.
Freeman says, “Our kids have a right to meet. And they have a right to establish a club, and it’s not my prerogative to necessarily agree or disagree with positions of clubs, but it is my prerogative and responsibility to make sure they have the right to have the club. I could see where there would be resistance, but it’s not really a question because it’s law.”
Good job Dr. Freeman! We need more principals like this!
The irony here is that this right to form clubs was formalized after pressure from religious groups.
…the 1984 Equal Access Act says any school club has to have the same access to meeting spaces and other resources as other clubs at a federally funded school. The law was originally promoted by religious groups who wanted prayer clubs and the like. Now, it also protects LGBT-themed organizations, freethinkers clubs, and more.
This family is making a difference.
Duncan’s dad Greg Henderson chimes in with some thoughts…
“Most religious people don’t think they know atheists. And they have this idea in their head about … they’re horrible people, they’re immoral, they’re cruel. They just don’t act right. And, it’s … it’s just not true.”
So true. We need more brave families and they need support from groups like the Secular Student Alliance (SSA). The SSA (disclosure: I am on the board of the SSA) is an amazing organization that his helping college and now High School groups across America. Their biggest problem is that so many students are starting new groups they are having a hard time keeping up with the growth. The SSA needs more funds.
Well right now there is a matching offer at the SSA. If you donate $100 Ron Verstappen will turn it into $200. Donate $1,000 and he will magically turn it into $2,000. He will match up to $20,000 but, only until 12/31/12. So go donate today. You contribution could help another kid just like Duncan show christians that it is OK to be an atheist.