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One of the nation’s leading atheist legal groups has sent a warning to over 1,000 public school districts telling them not to take field trips to Answers in Genesis' creationist attractions in Kentucky.
The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, which claims 31,000 members across the U.S., announced Tuesday that it contacted school districts in five states warning them that field trips to the Ark Encounter or the Creation Museum would be a violation of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.
Schools - School - Staff - Trips - Ark
“Public schools and public school staff may not constitutionally organize trips to the Ark Encounter or the Creation Museum or any other religious venue,” a letter from the nonprofit’s co-founders to schools reads.
Although the organization previously pressured schools not to organize field trips to either of the Answers in Genesis venues in 2016, FFRF felt the need to send the latest round of warning letters because, it says, Answers in Genesis founder Ken Ham continues “to encourage public schools to plan field trips” to the venues.
Ham - Nature - Park - Beginning - Letter
“Ham has been clear about the proselytizing nature of this park from the beginning,” the letter reads. “Though Ham asserts that the law is on his side, this is untrue. Unquestionably, any field trip facilitated by a public school to either attraction would be unconstitutional.”
Ham responded to FFRF’s announcement through a blog post in which he asserted that it's not unconstitutional for public school districts to hold field trips to the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum. He added that admission will be free of charge for any public school district that plans to take students on a field trip to the Ark Encounter or Creation Museum.
Rights - Attorneys - Classes - Ark - Museum
“As leading civil rights attorneys will tell you, if classes tour the Ark or museum in an objective fashion to supplement the teaching of world religions, literature, interpretation of history, etc., the field...
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