ICC Note: A student from Yulee High School of Florida is causing great controversy within his school district. On February 9th, 2015, he added the phrase, “God bless America,” to the approved script of the morning announcements. Two atheist students then reached out to the American Humanist Association seeking legal action. The AHA sent a letter to the principal and the school district shortly after and the student that made the announcement was reprimanded for his actions.
By Todd Starnes
02/11/2015 United States (FoxNews) – A Florida high school student was disciplined after a national atheist organization took offense when he concluded the morning announcements by saying “God Bless America.”
A spokesperson for the Nassau County School District told me the student at Yulee High School deviated from the approved script on the morning of Feb. 9th and uttered the words “God Bless America” — apparently causing angst among two atheist students.
“It wasn’t part of the scripted morning announcements,” district spokesperson Sharyl Wood said. “The principal took the appropriate steps in speaking with the student and disciplining the student.”
Disciplining the student? What’s the penalty these days for asking God to bless America – 30 lashes?
Instead of reporting their angst to the principal, the atheist students reached out to the American Humanist Association. The AHA’s legal arm – the Appignani Humanist Legal Center — fired off a testy letter to the principal and school district on the students’ behalf.
“It is inappropriate and unlawful for a public school to start the school day with an official statement over the intercom stating, ‘God Bless America,’ for such a statement affirms God-belief, validates a theistic worldview and is invidious toward atheists and other nonbelievers,” the American Humanist Association wrote in a letter to the principal of Yulee High School.
The AHA said the student violated the Constitution and broke the law by invoking God’s name over the public address system. They demanded the school immediately cease and desist under the threat of a lawsuit.
“The daily validation of the religious views of God-believers resigns atheists to second-class citizens,” the AHA wrote in their letter. “Because attendance is mandatory, the students have no way of avoiding this daily message either.”
Later that day – the AHA received a mea culpa from the principal assuring them such behavior would not happen again.