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Humanists Celebrate Constitutional Victory in Iowa Public Schools

For Immediate Release


Sarah Henry, (202) 238-9088,

(Washington, D.C., October 17, 2019) – Impressionable first grade students will no longer be attending a Christian play at a private Christian college after the American Humanist Association (AHA) legal team raised constitutional concerns.

The field trip, intended to take place today, unquestionably promoted Christianity by asking students to attend a depiction of the explicitly Christian biblical story of Jonah and the whale.

After school district officials resisted their responsibility to uphold the Establishment Clause, Monica Miller, AHA’s Legal Director and Senior Counsel, warned Cherokee Community School District that “if the field trip continues as planned, you should expect litigation to follow.”

In a constitutional victory for the nontheist advocacy group, the school promised late last night that young students will not be attending the sectarian play.

“Had the school gone through with the proposed trip, they would be violating decades of settled jurisprudence,” noted Miller. She continued, “We applaud Cherokee CSD for cancelling the religious field trip in light of our warning letters apprising school officials of their personal obligation to maintain separation of church and state.”


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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