Casa Grande High School District resolute on not introducing prayer to meetings

Casa Grande Unified High School district was deluged with emails and public comments this past month calling for the institution of an official prayer before meetings — despite never having an opening prayer before.

The board has had a moment of silence before meetings since 2014 that can be used for any private spiritual purpose. After listening to constituents who contacted them (as well as Secular AZ’s law team), the board did the right thing by not caving in to demands to replace the moment of silence with a prayer.   

Before the 11/7 meeting, Board President Chuck Wright issued a statement saying the board discussed the matter in a private session and decided to rename the moment of silence a “moment of contemplation and reflection.” They will, however, not institute an invocation in deference to the law and the religious diversity of their community.

“Our boardroom is a place to conduct school business and doing so will remain our focus,” said Wright. “People who wish to pray can either do so before or after a meeting or even in silence during our meetings as long as they do not disrupt our meeting or interfere with others in attendance who do not wish to participate.”

He also reminded those in attendance that open public comments are not legally required at meetings, and that the privilege of comments may be taken away if abused.

Board members need to hear positive feedback when they take a stand like this. (Currently, they are hearing feedback like this.)

Contact board members here.

Next Council Meeting: 12/05 at 6:30 PM 1362 N. Casa Grande Ave. Casa Grande, AZ 85122

Public education wins big in election

Unofficial results show voters overwhelmingly approved bonds and override measures in nearly every race across Arizona, funding schools in nine counties. This includes at least 23 districts in Maricopa County and seven in Pinal. This happens in spite of suspected illegal campaign coordination by opponents of public education.

Ballots are still being counted and we'll have more to say about the results. 

National effort to ban dangerous faux health insurance

Congressman Jared Huffman of the Congressional Freethought Caucus re-introduced the Health Share Transparency Act, which would protect people from health care sharing ministries, known for leaving Arizonans tens of thousands of dollars in debt due to deceptive practices.

We just sent a letter to Rep. Greg Stanton urging support for the Health Share Transparency Act. Join us in action by finding your own Representative’s contact info here.

Legal roundup

Some examples of cases the Secular AZ legal team has worked on in the past few months:

  • An elementary school was allowing a local church to use the school for bible club without charging the church. Teachers were also pressuring students to attend the club.
  • Multiple town councils have violated the guidelines for legislative invocation practices by opening meetings with exclusively Christian prayers, providing sample prayers for the public to read, directing the public to stand for the prayer, or allowing elected officials to lead the prayer.
  • A high school allowed a speaker to proselytize to students and hand out bibles.
  • A school district held an event at a Christian university and posted prominent pictures of crosses on their website.
  • An elementary school allowed a religious organization to hang a banner advertising the organization on school property.
  • A student was punished for declining to say the pledge of allegiance.

These activities are all unconstitutional and represent government entanglement with religion. If you have noticed similar problems in your community, contact


2023 UNITY Summit - Dec 5th & 6th

Gaining an understanding of the issues and challenges that we face while equipping our teams to look through an inclusive lens is more important than ever. So ONE Community is offering a free virtual summit on December 5th and 6th.

Sessions will include panels on moving Arizona forward on LGBTQ+ issues, anti-semitism, transphobia, and how to make political change without fueling polarization.

See what’s being offered and register here.


Committee opening in Prescott

Boards, Committees and Commissions provide opportunities for secular citizens to take an active role in their local government.

Prescott is currently looking to fill five seats on the Civic Enhancement Committee. The committee handles the distribution of grants, acceptance of public art donations & projects, recommendations to Council regarding development and advancement of public services provided by the library and parks & recreation needs of the community. It would be a great role for anyone passionate about protecting against censorship and proselytizing within these city services.

Read more.

Cancer fundraiser for school board member

Member Ann Elizabeth Ordway—a reliable voice of reason at Deer Valley Unified School District—has shared that she has cancer and will be undergoing chemotherapy treatment. A constituent in her district has put together a fundraiser to help her with treatment, and if you’re so moved, show this tireless public servant of 14 years your appreciation

Volunteers needed to collect signatures for abortion amendment

Arizona for Abortion Access has launched the petition gathering effort to put abortion on the ballot in 2024. The “Arizona Abortion Access Act” would enshrine the fundamental right to abortion in Arizona’s constitution for generations to come. The amendment is critical to ensure abortion access in the state.

The campaign must collect 383,923 valid signatures from Arizona voters by July 3, 2024 in order to qualify on the ballot. Sign up to be a volunteer here.


Upcoming School Board Meetings

Volunteer to monitor meetings here.

Secular AZ
PO Box 47756  | Phoenix, Arizona 85068
6023804810 |

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