Kelly Helton, a 12-year-old girl, recently told a meeting of the Tri-State Freethinkers how she had religious songs removed from her public school choir's set list (video below).
Helton attends a middle school in Kentucky, notes the Friendly Atheist, and gave a brief speech to the Tri-State Freethinkers about her experience:
We were singing religious songs, and I wasn't really comfortable singing these songs. So, I asked my dad what I should do about this, and he told me I should just talk to my teacher about it.
And so the next day, when we were singing the songs, one of my classmates actually said she felt like she was in church, which I didn't think that was quite appropriate since we're in a public school, and someone felt like they were in church because of all the religious songs.
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And so at the end of class, I talked to my teacher and I told her that I was uncomfortable singing all these religious songs. And she didn't want to exclude me from the singing, so she told me she would try to change some of the songs because she wanted to make me feel comfortable and she also knew my dad and she didn't want to get sued.
The next day, she told me she replaced the religious songs with some more classic songs such as "Jingle Bells" or "Frosty the Snowman."
Helton's dad, Jim, is president of the Tri-State Freethinkers, which is a "social, academic, and activist group with over 1000 members in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio."
"We are advocates for equal rights and the separation of church and state," the group's website continues. "We empower our members to make positive change by giving back to our community. We make our decisions based on facts, logic and reason, not superstitions, myths or dogma."