Minneapolis, MN – Today Liberty Counsel is filing a lawsuit on behalf of Child Evangelism Fellowship of Minnesota (CEF), the sponsor o Good News Clubs, against the Minneapolis Special School District No. 1 for unfairly denying equal inclusion in its promotion of after-school programs. CEF was an approved after-school program partner for five years without incident. But last fall, the district notified CEF that its programming was not “appropriate.” On March 25, 2010, Assistant District General Counsel for the district, Amy Moore, sent a letter stating the reason was that CEF’s programming “included leading the children in prayer, teaching them that Jesus Christ is their savior, and studying Biblical passages.”
The district allows many after-school organizations to partner with it to provide services to the children and families, such as the Boy Scouts of America, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Catholic Charities, and Lutheran Social Services of MN. It also provides promotional materials to parents detailing these after-school options, as well as on-site meeting space for these clubs. The district also buses the children safely home. But CEF and the children attending Good News Clubs are no longer allowed on the district’s buses.
The United States Supreme Court has long since settled the question whether Christians can be removed from the public school bus. As the Court held in Good News Club v. Milford, “speech discussing otherwise permissible subjects cannot be excluded from a limited public forum on the grounds that the subject is discussed from a religious viewpoint.”
Mathew Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: “The only rationale for discrimination against Good News Clubs is ignorance of the law or animosity toward the Christian message. The law is crystal clear. Christian viewpoints are constitutionally protected. Public schools must provide equal access for Christian viewpoints and Christian clubs.”
This article is excerpted from a Liberty Counsel press release.