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Atheists students denied right to form club in North Carolina

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Unfortunately, to be an atheist in parts of the South, can be trying. It does not matter if you aren't an adult, if you are a teenager, it might be even worse. After all, pro-theocratic school officials might think they can get away with violating your rights.

Kalei Wilson is a 15 year old girl who wanted to form an atheist club at Pisgah high school in Canton, North Carolina.

The asst. principal of the school, Connie Weeks, stated such a club didn't "fit in" with the community of the high school. If so, so what? Rights aren't dependent if the majority approve of your rights or not.

A Christian student club was already on campus so the school had no grounds to deny atheists a club when fellow Christian students already had one.

Anyway, no atheist was trying to deny Christians their own club, only a few theocratic school officials were trying to do that with some atheist students.

I don't use the term theocratic loosely by the way. It means any official who wants to use the power of government to impose their religion and/or denying the rights of those of a different religion or of no religion. I think Asst. Principal Weeks qualifies on this account.

After media outcry, and support for Kalei Wiscons by the Secular Student Alliance, Freedom From Religion Foundation and the North Carolina chapter of the American Civil liberties Union, the school changed its' mind. It was on no legal footing, of course.

I also wish to thank Hemant Mehta, the Friendly Atheist blogger, who posted about this story and who is a source for much of my church/state and atheism columns.

Hemant is an atheist and a math teacher at a public high school, but he never uses his authority to impose his ideas on religion, or a god, with students. If only those on the religious right, could follow his example.



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