I go to high school in a small Texas town, and we have something called "meet you at the poll". It's just a crappy christian gathering in front of the school around the flag poll. Now, they sometimes use the intercom to announce it (which I know is illegal because it is government property being used to communicate the event and next time this happens I will bring it to the principal and school board), and there has also been group prayers before some sports games led over loud speakers (which when it happens I will bring it up as well).

 

These things don't seem to be a big deal to ANYONE in my small town except myself. Yep, you guessed it, there is ONE church for all ~2,300 townspeople to worship so it doesn't bother them. Anyone else in small towns seem to see this same trend of the town being subconsciously ran by the church?

 

(and believe I'm the only atheist in my town, so if your around North Texas, pm or email me, cuz I would love to chat about the area!) 

Tags: Small, atheist, illegal, theist, town

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okay man i live in a small town in northwest Arkansas so i know the annoyance that you are feeling.  this is what i know .

1 the meet you at the pole as long as it is outside of a school building it is legal  but i don't know about the intercom thing if u know tell me they do the same thing at my school.

 

2 the prayer at school games is compleatly illegal if it is over the entire crowd and is lead by any person representing a school (teachers, principal, student, board member, etc.) individual or independent groups have the right to pray to themselves because they have all legal rights by freedom of speech  

 

this is where i get all my information about the laws about the laws prohibiting religious actions

http://www.religioustolerance.org/ps_pra9.htm

So Here is where I got the information of the intercom issue and the student led prayer from:

http://www.thinkatheist.com/video/controversial-prayer-bill-is-one-...

Down to the comments tree are excerpts put in by Ron V which just states that any government involvement is illegal including government property as well as the school sponsoring. (I.e. Football games are sponsored)

thanks man i keep that in mind when the next time that it happens

Your problem is not at all uncommon it happens in small towns all across the country I have recently herd of the flag pole situation and I cant remember where some one was bringing it to the school board I think. This is the latest attempt by the Christian community to circumvent the law as it applies to prayer in schools and as I am sure you are aware Texas is a super Christian state you are deep in enemy my man. The  football  games that is just plain illegal and they know it I would not expect a positive response if you bring either situation up on your own you may want to contact The ACLU or one of the national Atheist groups Like the Secular Coalition of America or American Atheist I am sure any of them could help you with advice if not actual support. I would talk to them before doing any thing on your own as you are sure to see backlash in such a small community and that can range from harsh words to threats and actual violence. What ever you do good luck I hope you can get some resolution to your situation and don't forget you got support in the national Atheist community we are all over the internet and that keeps us connected.

THANKS!! I will definitely be looking up those organizations to keep in touch!

The only thing is, when It happens I usually forget to speak up! But now I'll be prepared and will head your words of caution because you are absolutely right.

I just sent a friend request with links to the sites if they don't come threw let me know and Ill re post them here. 

They went through. Thank you very much!

This isn't anything new.  It was happening in my suburban Kentucky High School from at least 2000.

You are lucky there is only one church. That's far more sensible than a small town with half a dozen churches, just because different sects hate each other and can't agree on the most basic things for the mythology

The Freedom from Religion Foundation just dealt with something just like this. Take a listen to their Nov. 5th podcast: http://www.ffrf.org/news/radio/shows/ and contact them. They have staff attorneys who respond to this kind of violation.

The only problem is that I have no evidence and it hasn't happened recently enough to still bring up. But I won't remember next time! And thanks for the resources everyone!

I believe this "meet you at the pole" thing is sliding under the general student clubs rule where student groups are allowed to use campus facilities as long as all other clubs are allowed to do so to. Basically either they have to allow all clubs the same rights or not allow any clubs or extracurricular activities at all. My suggestion would be to start an Atheist student club or faith debate club and ask for announcements over the intercom to let people know about it and if the school doesn't allow it then that's where you can get them. Honestly though I've never really had an issue with kids in a club getting together to pray as long as if its not forced and they aren't banning other groups from doing things.  

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