School District Policy Discriminating Against Christian Clubs Ruled Unconstitutional
Minneapolis, MN – Federal District Judge Ann Montgomery ruled in favor of Liberty Counsel’s lawsuit on behalf of Child Evangelism Fellowship of Minnesota (CEF) against Elk River Area School District #28. The court issued a preliminary injunction finding that the district’s policy, which discriminates against Christian groups, is unconstitutional. Liberty Counsel filed the lawsuit on September 11, 2008.
Under the policy, the district did not allow CEF to distribute literature and participate in school events to promote its Good News Clubs. The Boy Scouts and other patriotic and community service organizations are permitted to distribute their literature and promote their groups to the students.
In addition to allowing organizations other than CEF to provide written information for students, the district hosts “open house” events at the beginning of each school year. Parents attend to meet teachers and learn about the different programs available for their children. By denying CEF the opportunity to participate in the literature distribution and “open house” events on an equal basis with secular groups, the district violated clear legal precedent, according to the court.
Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: “We are very pleased that the Good News Clubs will now be treated equal to the secular clubs. I am always amazed at how school officials try to invent new ways to discriminate against Christian viewpoints. Equal access is the law, and equal access means equal treatment in every respect. Good News Clubs are one of the most positive influences that public schools can offer to parents and their children. It is absurd that anyone would want to reject an organization that promotes patriotism, civic responsibility, and character development. These are qualities that young children need to learn about and develop. Instead of restricting Good News Clubs, public schools ought to embrace them.”
(Printed courtesy of Liberty Counsel)
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