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Douglas County Parent Upset Over Christian Student Fundraising

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HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4) – There are claims that a public school is promoting religion and a group wants the practice to stop in Douglas County.

The American Humanist Association sent out a letter to the Douglas County School District based on a parent’s complaint saying Christianity should not be promoted in any way by schools or its employees. The district says they support students being leaders in fundraising.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The parent who complained has a student who attends Highlands Ranch High School and spotted fundraising websites by a Christian group within the public school.

“Helping to raise money and sponsoring a Christian proselytize mission, it was really quite egregious and rather outrageous,” David Niose with the American Humanist Association said.

Niose, the nonprofit’s legal director, says it’s unconstitutional because of the church and state separation.

The postings appear to be from members within the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a group aligned with the high school. Their goal was to send 20 students to Guatemala over spring break to share the “love and hope of Jesus.”

The American Humanist Association also took issue with the official logo of the high school posted on gofundme.com.

The American Humanist Association also felt a flyer for Cougar Run Elementary families promoting the trip along with a district employee’s email that went out to a sixth-graders’ parents are other direct violations.

In their letter to the school district the nonprofit is asking the district to stop any participation they may have in the conversion efforts of the Christian athletes.

“Schools are paid for with tax dollars and children are sent there to learn about reading, writing and arithmetic,” Niose said.

A response to CBS4 from the school district said “the Douglas County School District supports student-driven community and/or fundraising efforts. We applaud our students for being leaders and giving back to others.”

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