WCAF to Award $4,325 to Student Who Exposed Christian Proselytizing in Delta Public Schools

Cidney Fisk of Delta, Colorado

Cidney Fisk of Delta, Colorado

On Monday, August 15, 2016 Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers (WCAF) will award a $4,325 college scholarship to Cidney Fisk, the newly-graduated Delta High School student who exposed the pervasive Christian proselytizing in Delta County’s public schools. WCAF will hand over the check to Cidney at noon in front of Delta High School in Delta, Colorado.

Cidney is an award-winning, A+ student who excelled in speech and debate, but was punished for her opinions about the school.

The scholarship is WCAF’s largest to date. The group gave a $1,000 gift to the Mesa County Public Library Foundation in July of 2013 to help with construction of the new downtown Central Library, and in spring, 2016 donated $100 to Delta Middle School to help with minor repairs in the girls’ and boys’ restrooms in the school’s cafeteria.

Cidney graduated from Delta High School last May and was outspoken about the school bringing in Christian-based speaker Shelly Donahue, who gave an abstinence-only-before-marriage talk to students. This talk was nominally secular, but contained crucifixes in all the slides and Donahue told the students that having premarital sex “puts

A slide from Shelly Donahue's "WAIT" program shown at Delta High School in October, 2015, containing Christian crosses (crucifixes)

A slide from Shelly Donahue’s “WAIT” program shown at Delta High School in October, 2015, containing Christian crosses (crucifixes)

them further from God.” This talk the only “sex ed” most DHS students ever received from the school district, but it contained none of the state-required information about contraceptives, sexually-transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS or other information the state says public schools must give students if districts choose to teach sex education.

Cidney also served as student body treasurer at DHS and was critical of the school’s lopsided expenditures on athletics at the expense of academics. She pointed out publicly that the school lavished tens of thousands of dollars on items like a new gym floor and new wrestling mats, while Delta High had no library, all of the computers in her journalism classroom were broken and DHS students were using psychology textbooks from the early 1980s. The school also does not supply textbooks for Advanced Placement (AP) students, but makes parents of AP students buy their children’ textbooks, putting a substantial burden on low income parents of academically-advanced children.

Cidney’s student government teacher gave her Fs because of her opinions about the school and for questioning authority, and her academic counselor threatened to damage her standing in student government and her ability to get grants and scholarships to college as long as Cidney kept criticizing the school.

Cidney told her story in a local blog titled “What it’s Like to be a Student With a Brain in the Delta County School District.” The blog got over 17,000 views in less than 36 hours, from all over the world. As a result of widespread interest in Cidney’s story, at the suggestion of a reader WCAF set up a scholarship fund to help Cidney go to college in Denver this fall, and donations poured in from all across the U.S. and four foreign countries. Some people even donated twice.

The scholarship funds will help Cidney pay for her college education. Cidney says she plans to major in political science and economics.

21 comments for “WCAF to Award $4,325 to Student Who Exposed Christian Proselytizing in Delta Public Schools

  1. Martha
    August 11, 2016 at 7:40 am

    Sounds economically political to me!
    She’s chosen her career path appropriately and I’m sure she will succeed.

  2. Jessica
    August 11, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Keep up the good work Cidney! 🙂 question everything!

  3. Teresa
    August 10, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    Oh I see, she did it for the money! That’s quite an honorable thing huh?

    • Patrick
      August 10, 2016 at 9:29 pm

      How? By bribing the WCAF to create a scholarship fund for her? Don’t be ignorant.

      • Anne Landman
        August 10, 2016 at 10:19 pm

        Teresa, the scholarship fund was set up in response to a suggestion by a local reader of the blog. No money exchanged hands to set up the scholarship fund, hence your charge that there was a “bribe” to set it up is groundless.

        • Patrick Winner
          August 10, 2016 at 10:44 pm

          I was replying to the nice lady who said said this girl was in it for the money. I guess I should have added that comment is dripping with sarcasm.

    • Anne Landman
      August 10, 2016 at 10:27 pm

      Teresa, your statement is uncalled for and quite a low blow. Cidney did not endure harassment by her counselor and lowering of her grades by her teacher for money, and the suggestion that she would do such a thing and subject her family to such universally rude treatment by so many Delta citizens is completely absurd. Cidney similarly had no idea that telling her story publicly would result is such an astonishing outpouring of generosity and support for her nationally and worldwide. She and her family are brave people and true patriots for enduring the harassment they as a result of standing up for the Constitutional principles of freedom of speech and separation of church and state in public schools.

      • Ryan Caines
        August 11, 2016 at 9:54 am

        All of these claims are alleged. Innocent until proven guilty is the standard on which the courts operate. I think the teachers and administrators mentioned in your posts should file a suit for libel against you and the WCAF.

        I say good luck to Cidney. I hope next time someone wants to use her in order to further their own political agenda she thinks twice.

        • Anne Landman
          August 11, 2016 at 11:32 am

          Ryan, Cidney is not “being used.” She and her parents sought help from WCAF, and they were not the only family to do so.

          • Ryan Caines
            August 11, 2016 at 3:31 pm

            I will believe this comment when I see the proof in the form of a lawsuit. Until then I know you will keep doing everything you can to bring this up on social media and creating a stir. I will continue to call out you and your agenda. Anyone with a brain knows there is no possibility of a lawsuit though. Good for you in contributing to the further education of a child. Probably the only good thing that will come out of the entirety of your continued doltish behavior.

        • August 11, 2016 at 12:45 pm

          Why slander my child without knowing the full story? Liable for what?

          • Ryan Caines
            August 11, 2016 at 2:38 pm

            There was no slander of your child, if you would open your eyes you will see I wished her luck in the future. Slander is in spoken form and libel is in written form. If the teachers and administrators could convince a jury that Ms. Landmans written blog harmed or damaged their reputation as educators she would then be guilty of libel and subject to penalties.

            I, as well as many others are tired of Ms. Landman and her entire group of lackeys creating drama in our community. She only cares about your child because she can use her story to further her own agenda. Everything that has been done for your daughter by her and the WCAF has an ulterior motive. This is basically the definition of using someone.

            The entire point of all the comments I have made is that this group needs to stop preying on children, your child included.

          • D.Fisk
            August 12, 2016 at 8:18 am

            If you’re tired of Anne, why keep reading her blog? Anne has emotionally supported Cidney, and she started this amazing fund. Thank you Anne!

      • Cheryl Page
        August 11, 2016 at 11:25 pm

        Very well stated Anne, thank you! Cydney is a remarkable young woman that we had the honor to encounter at some Democratic functions this last year. Hope to follow her path for years to

    • Smartie
      August 10, 2016 at 10:49 pm

      You’re an idiot!

      • Smartie
        August 10, 2016 at 10:51 pm

        Meaning Teresa and Patrick. Obviously you’re challenged…

    • August 11, 2016 at 12:37 pm

      Wrong again. If you would actually read the article. You would have known the money was given to her in July by some very kind hearted people. Unlike those who just want to condemn her for using her first amendment rights. She did not use my cancer to get a scholarship, she did not ask anyone for a dime. She lost a scholarship for believing differently. Why do you feel the need to lie, gossip and spread rumors? Are you jealous?

      • Annerdr
        September 27, 2017 at 10:33 am

        I wish every mother was as supportive as you clearly are. Your daughter is a lovely, strong person of the sort we need in this country. It is obvious she inherited much of that strength from her mother.

    • John
      August 13, 2016 at 1:05 am

      You are going to attack her? Really? The backbone of American ideals is standing up for your beliefs. People have been doing it since the dawn of time. Sure people stand up against these beliefs. Do you think that when the Founding Fathers were fighting everyone was supportive? No, they weren’t. Do you think the abolition of slavery was supported by everyone? No, of course not. Am I saying that this matter is as important as those. Probably not; however, I am saying that this country is pushed on by people willing to stand up for what they believe. Cidney is not willing to stand by, because that isn’t like her. In fact, she is one of the few people I know willing to consistently stay strong in her beliefs. She doesn’t care if people like you disagree. She really doesn’t. She shouldn’t have to validate herself to people online. She shouldn’t have to be dealing with this kind of criticism. Because she is standing up for the ideals in which she believes. Attacking her doesn’t say anything about her at all, just you. You are the only one who is shown in a negative light because of your comment. Have a nice day, Teresa.

      • October 19, 2016 at 4:26 am

        "It is time to consider revolution and start getting or;mDized.&quotgnaan right! Store food, water, supplies, guns, ammo…..lots of ammo. Start talking to your neighbors and friends. It's time to organize yourselves. The government will no longer protect you. Remember NDAA. Don't get caught!

  4. Aangi
    August 10, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    Way to go! This young woman is inspiring and brave. Bravo!

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