Kalei Wilson. Photo courtesy of Cash Atheos

Freshman Kalei Wilson will establish a chapter of Secular Student Alliance at Pisgah High School in Canton, N.C. Photo courtesy of Cash Atheos

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(RNS) A North Carolina high school will allow the formation of a club for nonreligious students after a four-month standoff.

The Secular Student Alliance, a national organization for nonreligious college and high school students, announced Monday (Feb. 17), that lawyers for Pisgah High School in Canton, N.C., have said the school will permit freshman Kalei Wilson to establish a chapter of the group.

“We are thrilled to see this victory for Kalei and all of the students at Pisgah High School!” said August E. Brunsman IV, executive director of the alliance. “We fight everyday to ensure students’ rights aren’t infringed upon, and are pleased with this response from Haywood County Schools.”

Wilson, 15, and her older brother, Ben, 17, asked school administrators for permission to start a club for nonreligious students in October. According to a letter of complaint sent to the school by the Freedom from Religion Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union, the students were repeatedly stalled and rebuffed.

Pisgah High School has several Christian-oriented extracurricular clubs and denying its nonreligious students made the school noncompliant with federal law requiring equal access.

Reached at school by text message, Kalei Wilson said she is excited to found the club and knows of about a dozen students who say they would like to join.

“To me it means change and improvement in the school,” she said. “I hope to teach them more about equality and the separation between church and state.”



      • The millions of burned witches don’t exist (try maybe 50,000 executed, not all by burning – and none burned in Salem, just FYI – over a span of several centuries). Also, that whooshing sound you just heard is the point flying right over your heard. The point is that the Equal Access Act was originally pushed for by Christians for Christian activities, and that they’re whining and writhing and engaging in all kinds of Special Pleading when that same act is being used to provide any semblance of actual equality for organizations that aren’t Bible study groups. Or, in fewer words – suddenly the Dominionist activists don’t like the law they wanted when it’s not benefiting them.

  1. Good for Kalei Wilson!

    We need more Americans like her!

    On one had christians say atheism is a religion and then they say NO you can’t have your atheist club, but they say they are fighting for “religious freedom” [expletive deleted]!

    If christians realy had the courage of their convictions they wouldn’t, couldn’t fear atheism! Supersticious liars, cowards and hypocrites!

  2. By the way, here is “Pastor Cash”: http://offender.fdle.state.fl.us/offender/flyer.do?personId=68184

    (That’s right. Sex offender.)

    And here is the summary of the 56-page report about the incident:

    “It is my opinion your allegations … are without merit and baseless,” Smathers
    wrote, stating he thought they arose from a “manufactured controversy” caused by
    a parent’s influence on his children and a desire for publicity and potential
    financial gain.


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