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Freethinkers Protest Iowa Public School Visit to Bible Play

For Immediate Release


Sarah Henry, (202) 238-9088,

(Washington, D.C., October 14, 2019) – Attorneys at the American Humanist Association (AHA) sent a letter late Friday to officials at the Cherokee Community School District in Cherokee, Iowa, on behalf of a parent of a local first grade student.

The student's class plans to visit a private Christian school (Northwestern College) in Orange City, Iowa, to attend a performance of "Jonah and the Giant Fish" on Thursday, October 17, 2019. Promoting attendance at a depiction of an explicitly Christian biblical story undoubtedly promotes Christianity.

As the letter notes, “a public elementary school scheduling a field trip to a sectarian university to see a play adapted from the Old Testament for an avowedly evangelistic purpose violates the Establishment Clause on multiple levels.”

The letter demands that the school immediately cancel this field trip and any other similar unconstitutional activity and asks for a response by October 16, 2019.


The American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming worldview of humanism, which—without beliefs in gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

Special thanks to the Louis J. Appignani Foundation and the Herb Block Foundation for their support of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.

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