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www.wmfd.com - Controversy over a Colorado school's tie to a religious charity, as in past years, a charter school has collected Christmas gifts to be distributed by a religious organiation to poor children in the developing world, but school officials decided to end the toy drive this year, after a non-believer's group threatened them with a lawsuit. }}" />

   
 
 
Colorado School Drops Charity Over Atheist Lawsuit Threat

Story By: Larry Stine

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  Original Published: 11/22/2013 Controversy over a Colorado school's tie to a religious charity. In past years, a charter school has collected Christmas gifts to be distributed by a religious organiation to poor children in the developing world. But school officials decided to end the toy drive this year, after a non-believer's group threatened them with a lawsuit. As Kyle Clark reports, parents are upset with the school's decision. The separation between church and state here is a sidewalk. It's where kids from Skyview Academy are allowed to collect the donations that they had planned to gather at school, until the cease and desist letter arrived. "We were shocked," says Lorrie Grove, Skyview Academy School Board President. "This was a project that was intended with complete goodwill. That's all this was. It was a project to help other kids in other countries who have less than we do." The American Humanist Association calls the gift boxes a "bribe, used to pressure desperatley poor children to convert to Christianity, delivered with prayers and sermons." "Parents are free to donate whatever they want to whichever organizations they want, via Operation Christmas Child or any other organization," says Monica Mikller of the American Humanist Association. "We just ask that public schools don't use the machinery of the state to advance the goals of these religious groups." "I call it bully tactics," says Kendal Unruh, a parent. "To try to get us to comply with what their view of society should be." "We're not trying to bully these local schools into doing anything that the Constitution doesn't already require them to do," says Miller. Skyview's capitulation letter called it a teaching moment. "I was pretty disappointed about it," says one female student. The lesson might be one on which both sides of this sidewalk can agree. "If you really believe in something, then you need to stand up for it," said the female student.
   
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