Suing Over Feeding Children

March 9, 2014 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

By Andrew Richter

You’d think people would have better things to do;

American Humanist Association Attorney Monica Miller said her organization may wait for nearly a year before filing a lawsuit against Robbinsdale Area Schools.

On Jan. 29, 2014, and on roughly the same date in 2013, students at the School of Engineering and Arts took a field trip to Cavalry Lutheran Church in Golden Valley to pack boxes of food for Feed My Starving Children, which sent the boxes to Haiti as part of a broader hunger relief effort.

The humanist association believes that the environment in which the students packed the food, and the fact that the food was being packed for a Christian organization, constituted a proselytizing environment and violated the First Amendment of the Constitution.

What> Proselytizing environment?

The association sent a letter to district and SEA administrators stating as much and demanding an end to the trips Feb. 3.

Stop or else!

Robbinsdale Area Schools representatives have maintained that no attempts were made to convert or otherwise proselytize students during the trips. The association may wait until the district decides to conduct or not conduct a third trip – in the 2014-15 school year – before pursuing any legal action.

Legal action on the basis of what and in whose name?

“We are certainly not dropping the issue,” Miller said in a Feb. 24 phone interview. The association, she explained, was made aware of similar trips in Illinois and sent similar letters. The new information has led the association to see if there are any additional school districts that participate in similar activities.

“It’s become clear to us that this is a widespread issue,” she said.

What’s the issue you dingbat? Kids are packing meals for staring children and you think it should be stopped!

She added that she considers SEA’s trips to be more “egregious” due to the religious iconography present at Cavalry during the trip. The outside of the church has two crosses that can be seen from nearby roads.

Oh no!!! A cross by a church!!! Call out the cavalry!

The possible lawsuit would not seek monetary damages from the school, Miller explained, saying that the primary goal of any litigation would be to stop the school from conducting similar trips in the future. Jasmine Carlstrom, who attended the trip as a chaperone, said she did not feel that she or her son, Ben, were proselytized.

“I very purposefully went because it was at a church,” she said in a Feb. 25 phone interview. “It’s not that I want my children to not be in a church. If they have questions, I want to be able to answer those questions.”

She said her son had a “really good time” during the trip, which lasted roughly two hours, and that his questions and those of his classmates were limited to the impact their work would have on Haitian children.

Kids had a good time! Well we better sue to stop it then!

Carlstrom identifies as an atheist, but said her preference might be better described as being unaffiliated with any religious organization. “From my viewpoint, there was not anything that was overtly religious,” she said about the trip.

“I understand where someone might be coming from when they are concerned about it,” she added.

I don’t the first amendment was ever intended to stop kids from packing meals to starving children. How does it establish a religion to have kids do that? A tax funded church helping out starving kids does NOT establish a religion. I wonder if this group would threaten to sue if the church practiced Islam? Go home American Humanist Association!


Entry filed under: Education, School Board.

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