Kansas City, MO – Today [October 15] Liberty Counsel filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Victory Through Jesus Ministry Foundation against Lee’s Summit School District. Victory Through Jesus Ministry Foundation offers Victory Soccer Camp (VSC), a Christian summer sports camp program, throughout the Midwest. The District refused to include the soccer camp’s flyers along with the other information given to students about community activities for youth.
The District discriminated against VSC by allowing other nonprofit organizations, including another local soccer program, to be promoted through take-home flyers placed in the students’ backpacks. The District refused to allow the VCS flyers to be distributed, because VCS is not on the District’s list of approved nonreligious organizations. The District’s censorship of the camp’s flyers is unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination and forced VSC to use other, more costly means to ensure attendance at the summer camp.
The government violates the First Amendment when it discriminates against certain after-school programs on the basis of the program’s sponsor. Schools are required to treat religious groups equally in all matters, including access to the channels of information distribution.
Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: “Christian organizations must receive equal treatment under the law. Religious speech is not an orphan to the First Amendment. These are simple and settled concepts. What possible reason, other than pure censorship, could there be for banning fliers announcing a Christian camp while allowing fliers announcing secular camps? What the educators did not learn in college and refused to learn through a demand letter, they will now learn in court.”
This article is excerpted from a Liberty Counsel press release.