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Charter school will no affiliate and advertise religious organizations Colorado (February 13, 2020)

The Vanguard School, a charter school in the Cheyenne Mountain School District in Colorado Springs, will refrain from advertising for and affiliating itself with religious organizations in the future.

A district parent reported that each year, the school holds a “Thanksgiving Baskets” fundraiser for St. Joseph Catholic Church and a “Christmas Blessings Store” in partnership with the Calvary Baptist Church.

FFRF Staff Attorney Chris Line wrote a letter of complaint to the district pointing out that, while it is laudable for the district to encourage students to become active, charitable and involved in their community by volunteering and donating, the school cannot use that goal as an avenue to support churches or religious organizations.

Superintendent Walter C. Cooper sent FFRF a response letter which noted that “Vanguard understands the optics and perception that advertising the events in this manner could be construed as a message of religious endorsement, and will refrain from doing so in the future.”