FFRF Demands End To District's Discrimination Against Atheists

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, responding to complaints from concerned Indianapolis taxpayers, has sent a letter of strong objection to the Indianapolis Public School system for its policy of censorship of web content that promotes or provides information about "atheistic views." This policy, which also censors Wicca, Witchcraft, "voodoo rituals or any other for of mysticism," is unlawful because it violates the Free Speech Clause as unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination, FFRF charges.

This policy does not prohibit or even mention religious views such as Christianity. A website like FFRF.org, which educates on freethought and nontheism, would, however, be blocked under this policy. This promotes religion over nonreligion, which is forbidden under the Establishment Clause.

In her letter, Foundation Staff Attorney Rebecca Kratz pointed out that, in addition to the illegality of the policy, it discriminates against the 15% of the population that is nonreligious, the fastest growing segment of the American population (American Religious Identification Survey 2008).

"This policy not only violates the rights of students in the Indianapolis School District, but limits their capacity to expand their knowledge and acceptance of all individuals and beliefs," Kratz noted.

The policy also blocks LGBT sites "that provide information regarding, support, promote, or cater to one's sexual orientation or gender identity including but not limited to lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender sites" (see second page of policy).

FFRF demanded that the district either immediately end this discriminatory policy or adapt it to include blocking all religious and nonreligious websites.

Take Action!

Please send messages to the superintendent and school board members protesting this discriminatory website blocking policy. Please remember to keep messages short and sign your name and address. For maximum effectiveness, respond as an individual and not as someone replying to this action alert. We are pleased to receive blind duplicates of your messages at .

Superintendent, Dr. Eugene G. White
John Morton-Finney Center for Educational Services
120 E. Walnut St.
Indianapolis IN 46204
Phone: 317-226-4411
Fax: 317-226-4936

School Board members:
President, Dr. Michael D. Brown, , 317-297-0548
Vice President, Elizabeth M. Gore,
Dr. Mary E. Busch,
Diane Arnold,
Kelly E. Bentley,
Dr. Michael R. Cohen,

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational charity, is the nation's largest association of freethinkers (atheists, agnostics), and has been working since 1978 to keep religion and government separate.

FFRF is a non-profit, educational organization. All dues and donations are deductible for income-tax purposes.

FFRF has received a 4 star rating from Charity Navigator

 

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FFRF is a member of Atheist Alliance International.