Bedford Public Schools is forcing children to attend an assembly during the school day put on by a religious group in the guise of suicide prevention. Instead of allowing parents to opt-in to an event where kids will be “invited” to attend a church service after school, parents must opt-out. The Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie strongly opposes these assemblies that attempt to circumvent church and state separation by disguising the religious aspect under an important issue like suicide prevention of character building.
Carry the Cure is a non-profit organization that utilizes clinical tools, cultural traditions, and faith-based methods to offer communities comprehensive suicide & abuse prevention and healthy life-choice skills. Carry the Cure doesn’t offer any science based tools that most schools don’t already know and use to help prevent children from committing suicide.
Groups like Carry the Cure offer schools a free assembly on an important topic like suicide and during the program invite the kids in the audience to another event either after school or at a local church where sermons, testimony, and other religious services not allowed at the assembly during the school day.
SHoWLE believes issues like suicide prevention and character building are important and some of that can be addressed in the school, but we object strongly to a religious group being allowed to present a fake assembly to be used to indoctrinate children in religion later. We also object that the fake assembly is mandatory and requires the parents to opt-out. Any program, especially if it involves a religious group, should always be opt-in with the parents fully informed as to purpose of the program, the group providing the program, and any other questions that arise.
Bedford Public Schools made an error is approving Carry the Cure to perform their fake assembly during the school day and to force children to attend.