Religious fundraising halted in Calif. schools (January/February 2024)

FFRF has persuaded a California school district to no longer permit religious fundraising in its schools.

A concerned Castaic Union School District parent reported to FFRF that Castaic Middle School was holding a fundraiser for “Three Angels Haiti,” a Christian ministry, organized and promoted by administrators and teachers at Castaic Middle School. Three Angels Haiti’s mission is “to help children in Haiti escape poverty so that they may experience God’s love.” It also describes its goals as “to help [children] escape poverty, encounter Jesus and become part of a healthy home.” Students in the Christian school supported by the ministry “line up by class every school day and recite Psalm 23 and the Lord’s Prayer and then sing the national anthem and some worship songs before heading to their classrooms.”

Organizing a fundraiser that employs school staff and resources to proselytize children in Haiti violates basic constitutional principles, FFRF attorney Chris Line wrote to Castaic Union School District Superintendent Bob Brauneisen.

FFRF requested that the school district end the religious fundraiser, redirect its charitable efforts to a secular organization, and refrain from all future promotion and coordination of fundraisers for religious ministries such as Three Angels Haiti.

The Castaic Union School District superintendent recently sent the following response: “The district has looked into the concerns raised in your correspondence and will be taking the following corrective actions. The district will immediately end the fundraising initiative related to No such further efforts will be made. No further requests for donating to this charity will be made. Moreover, any funds collected will not be distributed to the Three Angels organization.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation