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Tucson Atheists Message Board › Vail Unified School District is sponsoring a religious family conference

Vail Unified School District is sponsoring a religious family conference

CherylBene
user 5546336
Wayland, MA
Post #: 8
To Valary Ritchie, There is more than one avenue you can pursue. It would be worth your time to research the following group called FFRF = Freedom From Religion Foundation. They fought legally against and won a case in Rhode Island in 2011, and also a case in the Carolinas - both school cases. When you communicate with them they are very proactive in getting back to you. They are currently working on a case in Arizona - [sorry do not recall the details] They have full time staff attorneys. Keeping schools secular is important. Separation of state and church is critical. Please do not let this go as these schools are breaking the Federal Law. Have Your Voice be HEARD. Dr. C. Bene.
Lisa D.
user 37949022
Tucson, AZ
Post #: 2
I'm in the Vail district as well. The flier they sent out didn't say it was sponsored by VUSD but I can see on the website that it IS sponsored by them. If you'd like I would meet with you and the superintendent!
A former member
Post #: 34
The title of this discussion says "Vail Unified School District is sponsoring a religious family conference". In the flyer about the event, I cannot see any reference that the topic will be of a religious nature, or that it will promote religion. The mere fact that an event is sponsored by a religious group doesn't make the event itself religious. Is there any indication that the speakers will base their relationship advice on religious principles? If not, then I don't see much of an issue. If it's a neutral event, it doesn't really matter whether its' sponsored by a Church, an Atheist group, the Humane Society, or NASA.
Greg C.
user 8398410
Tucson, AZ
Post #: 147
Without knowing any more about the conference than what I've seen here, I have to agree with Regina. While the arrangement is certainly 'suspicious,' and bears some level of investigation, I think it's a mistake to reflexively grab the torches and pitchforks and charge headlong into battle.
Nora M.
onemiller
Tucson, AZ
Post #: 36
I'm not from Vail, so I am not directly affected, but I encourage you to look a little deeper. The Farrells teach the Bible. The books listed in the announcement are all religious books. You can "Look Inside" them on Amazon and they start with a biblical quote and base all their recommendations on religion. And as Valary said, the flyer openly states that the childcare, provided on school property, will include teaching "biblical truths". Are you comfortable having your school tax dollars spent to provide that? I hope your reference to torches and pitchforks is a little ironic, given that those are usually employed by the rabble to attack the scientist. I think this is exactly the kind of thing that atheist organizations should confront. One reason the religious right has gained so much ground in local government is through programs like this that use public school funds to indoctrinate young students and young parents. And if Vail has had to close schools or cut programs or increase class sizes due to lack of funds, then school funded religious programs like this become an especially important issue. The first amendment is exactly about preventing school personnel from spending school funds to print flyers and standing on school property to welcome parents and their children to a religious training.
Lisa D.
user 37949022
Tucson, AZ
Post #: 3
Regina and Greg. I agree with you on the flier because it does not specifically state that the school district sponsors the event. The website, however, does. http://www.vail.k12.a...­
A former member
Post #: 8
Lisa, Greg and Regina you need to actually read the flyer and the small print. The headline right across the top of the flyer is: VUSD Family Conference 2013: presents Pam and Bill Farrel. At the bottom of the flyer in large print: The Vail School District Family Conference is brought to you in collaboration with local churches. In small print: The following childcare contains a religious theme and is sponsored by four Tucson local churches.
The flyer is advertised on the front page of Vail School District's website. There is a link to register for the conference there.
Nora Miller is absolutely right. It is a First Amendment issue. As I mentioned in a previous post I have contacted Freedom From Religion Foundation and they will be contacting the school district today and will be keeping me informed. We have many more years of my daughter attending Vail School District schools. I will be speaking to the powers that be and have my voice heard and make sure the Vail School District administration know that it is unacceptable to promote a religious conference and that it violates our First Amendment rights.

A former member
Post #: 9
Sorry Lisa, I should have said the flyer I received had the headline: VUSD Family Conference 2013...They may have sent differently worded flyers out. Flyer I received was exactly like the one at the School District website.
Also, thank you Lisa for offering to come with me if I meet with Calvin Baker. Please email me. I would love to talk to you about it all.
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