FFRF probes religious entanglement in Kansas public school

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is raising questions about the entanglement between a public school and a private Catholic school in Tipton, Kan.

A concerned area resident reported to FFRF that Tipton Community School, a public school run by Waconda USD 272, shares a building, administrators and teachers with a private Catholic high school. For instance, FFRF understands that Gery Hake is the principal of Tipton Community School and the Tipton Catholic High School. The complainant reports that there have been instances in the past of priests going into Tipton Community School classrooms and teaching religion to students.

This arrangement raises serious constitutional concerns. FFRF has submitted an open records request to learn what policies the district has in place to protect the constitutional rights of Tipton Community School students against religious proselytizing and endorsement by employees who also work for a private Catholic school.

“Kansas taxpayers deserve assurances that public funds are in no way intertwined with religious education in Waconda USD,” comments FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with more than 30,000 members across the country, including in Kansas. FFRF’s purposes are to protect the constitutional principle of separation between church and state, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism.

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.

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FFRF is a member of the Secular Coalition for America

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