Humanist group suing school district over Pledge of Allegiance - Fox 2 News Headlines

Humanist group suing school district over Pledge of Allegiance

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A humanist group is suing a New Jersey school district over the Pledge of Allegiance phrase “under God.”  According to a Fox News report the group is suing on behalf of a New Jersey family that believes the phrase is discriminatory toward atheist children.

The lawsuit against the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District was announced Monday by the Washington D.C. based advocacy organization American Humanist Association.

The group says the phrase "marginalizes atheist and humanist kids as something less than ideal patriots." The plaintiffs say those two words violate the state constitution's right to equal protection.

American Humanist Association lawyer David Niose says that the exercise “teaches students that patriotism is tied to a belief in God,” and should not be permitted in schools.

“Such a daily exercise portrays atheist and humanist children as second-class citizens, and certainly contributes to anti-atheist prejudices,” says Niose.

District lawyer David Rubin says that the district is following a state law that requires schools to recite the pledge daily, but individual students do not have to participate.

 “We are disappointed that this national organization has targeted Matawan-Aberdeen for merely obeying the law as it stands,” says Rubin.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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