Indiana school mentor program modified

Hamilton Southeastern School District [Fishers, Ind.] received a letter from attorney Robert Tiernan, on behalf of FFRF and an FFRF complainant, objecting that one of its mentor programs included in its curriculum the promotion of a “religious community” and “spiritual development.” The mentor program was established at Fishers Junior High “to target students who have trouble fitting in or who could benefit from meeting with a mentor on a weekly basis.” Included in this program is the curriculum called “40 Developmental Assets,” and asset 19 states: “Religious Community — Young person spends one or more hours per week in activities in a religious institution.” Tiernan represented the Foundation in FFRF v. Cherry Creek School District, which resulted in the revising of Asset 19 to more secular language. “The point of the revised language is to eliminate the favoritism given to religion over non-religion by the original version of Asset 19,” wrote Tiernan in the letter to the Hamilton Southeastern School District. The district responded [Nov. 11, 2010] that Asset 19 has been modified to read: “Intergenerational Activities — Young person spends one or more hours per week in activities with civic, social, governmental, scientific, educational, charitable, faith based or secular (non-religious) organizations.” — Bonnie Gutsch

Freedom From Religion Foundation