Friday, April 29, 2011

My Letter To The Principal

Will received a Boy Scout flier from his school the other day. Here is what was on it (minus clip art and bullet points).

Troop 22 of Whitman is hosting a Recycling Day
Date: April 30, 2011
Time: 9:00 a.m. till 1:00 p.m.
Place: The Spellman Center Parking lot
At the Holy Ghost Church
49 School Street
Whitman, MA 02382

Drop off your unwanted

TV's $25      VCR's or DVD Players $12
Computers $12     Window Air Conditioners $15
Monitors $10       Microwaves $10
Keyboards $10     Dishwashers $15
Printers $10     Cellphones $5
Printers $10     Copy & Fax Machines $10
Donate your Bottles and Cans in support of our many Eagle Projects!

Cash will be accepted or make checks payable to: Friends of Troop 22
"Guaranteed data Destruction of any personal Information left on your PC"
For more information or to arrange pick-up of an item * a $10 pick up fee will be charged for large TV's* please call [redacted]

Come out and Support Your Local Boy Scout Troop

I decided to reflect on the matter before shooting this email to the principal on 4/27. Here it is.
Dear [redacted],

My name is Andrew Hall and my son, William, is in the third grade at [redacted]. Earlier this week he brought home the flier Troop 22 of Whitman is Holding a Recycling Day. Personally speaking, I am a big fan of recycling and typically support any attempt to get people to do more of it. However, my concern is with the organization that is holding the event, the Boy Scouts.

You may not be aware that the Boy Scouts actively prevent atheists from working or volunteering in their organization.

"Boy Scouts of America believes that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God. Accordingly, youth members and adult volunteer leaders of Boy Scouts of America obligate themselves to do their duty to God and be reverent as embodied in the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. Leaders also must subscribe to the Declaration of Religious Principle. Because of its views concerning the duty to God, Boy Scouts of America believes that an atheist or agnostic is not an appropriate role model of the Scout Oath and Law for adolescent boys. Because of Scouting’s methods and beliefs, Scouting does not accept atheists and agnostics as members or adult volunteer leaders." - from Boy Scouts of America

This is bigotry, plain and simple.

I am an atheist. I have worked with people who have disabilities for over 17 years. I have also been married for over 17 years and consider myself as well as my wife, son, and daughter to be as moral as any person who believes in God.

What I am asking you today is to stop sending home fliers that promote the Boy Scouts. Would you allow the school to distribute fliers supporting an organization that is bigoted towards Muslims, Catholics, or Hindus? Of course not. The Supreme Court has decided that atheists are to be given the same consideration as would any of the previous groups. Shouldn't the school?

I'm looking forward to your reply

Thank you for your time.

- Andrew Hall

The principal was quick to respond. I received this in my inbox this morning (4/29).
Mr. Hall,

I appreciate you sharing this information with me. The school district tends to send out information about events from nonprofit organizations so families may make the decision regarding participation. The next time a request is made to distribute fliers for this organizations we will take this information into account. Please know our intent is never to offend anyone and I apologize if that is the way you felt.

Thank you,


 I haven't made any further decision on this matter. I'd like to know what you think.



  1. I think they're going to ignore you and you will be seeing more flyers from the bigot scouts, unfortunately.

  2. I don't understand what the big deal is. It seems like it is an fyi flyer. I don't see anywhere where you HAVE to bring something to be recycled. It would seem as though you may have an issue with someone not having the same views as you, which may make you a borderline hypocrite. No ove is forcing you to do something against your will, so what is the big deal? You have a problem with the scouts, that's fine, you are obviously entitled to your opinion but why would you deny other people the information? Are the boy scouts putting a fun to your head or robbing you of your constitutional rights? If they are I will be the first one to scream how wrong they are, but it seems that is not the case. Why it did not just go in the trash is beyond me, but what do I know? I am eagerly awaiting your reply to this matter so I can know if I am wrong on any of my points.


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