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Secular Student Alliance Board Member Matthew LaClair Challenges High School Textbook

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UPDATE #1: Matthew LaClair will be presenting at the 2008 Secular Student Alliance conference. This conference is being held jointly with the conference of the American Humanist Association and the world congress of the International Humanist and Ethical Union. The Secular Student Alliance is offering travel grants to students who wish to attend the conference. The deadline for these grants is April 21st.

Matthew LaClair

UPDATE #2: Secular Student Alliance Board Member Matthew LaClair Published in L.A. Times

Once more, high school senior Matthew LaClair, now beginning a term on the Secular Student Alliance (SSA) board of directors, has attracted the attention of national media by challenging some aspect of his public school education.

LaClair, 18, a student at Kearny High School in New Jersey, was disturbed by the way his Advanced Placement government text American Government presented such topics as global warming and the separation of church and state. He sought and received support from science and legal experts, whose criticisms are being evaluated by publisher Houghton Mifflin.

During his junior year LaClair recorded his history teacher for several days as he proselytized to the class and preached salvation through Jesus. The teacher was eventually disciplined, but LaClair was treated harshly by some community members and fellow students.

"I'm proud that Matthew is on the SSA Board of Directors," said SSA chair Hemant Mehta. "He represents the perfect example of what student activists can accomplish when they have the courage speak up."

Earlier coverage of LaClair by the Secular Student Alliance:
Student's Fight Against Preaching Teacher: Part 1 (Oct. 2007)
Student's Fight Against Preaching Teacher: Part 2 (Dec. 2007)
Interview with Matt LaClair (Dec. 2007)

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