Demand Letter Causes School District To Stop Discrimination Against Christian Group

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Medina, OH – After Liberty Counsel issued a demand letter threatening legal action, the Medina City Schools backed down and agreed to distribute flyers announcing Child Evangelism Fellowship’s Good News Clubs. The schools distribute announcements about other after-school activities, such as scout troops and sports leagues, by having teachers give the information to students to take home.

Liberty Counsel represents Child Evangelism Fellowship of Greater Akron (CEF) and its ministry coordinator, Bryan Rush. A school district official denied approval of the Good News Club flyers, which consisted of meeting announcements and parental permission forms, claiming that only information about booster club or school-related meetings could be given to the students.

The school district’s official policy does not limit materials from any specific organizations but gives the superintendent unfettered discretion to determine which groups are favored. Secular organizations, such as Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and various youth sports leagues, were allowed to distribute their flyers through the teachers to the students. Attendance in after-school programs like the Good News Clubs is very low if parents are not informed about the opportunities.

On September 26, after Mr. Rush was not able to resolve the flyer issue on his own, he contacted Liberty Counsel. A few days after the district superintendent’s office received Liberty Counsel’s demand letter, the superintendent’s office reversed its position and allowed the announcement to be distributed.

After-school Good News Clubs teach children respect, good citizenship and moral values from a biblical viewpoint. Liberty Counsel has obtained victories for CEF in numerous states from coast to coast and does not hesitate to litigate when Good News Clubs are treated unfairly.

Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: “After litigating First Amendment issues for nearly 20 years, I am amazed that every school official in America doesn’t know that discrimination against Christian groups is unconstitutional. It is unfortunate that it takes the threat of a lawsuit to make schools abide by the First Amendment and allow Good News Clubs the same advantages given to secular clubs.”

This press release was first issued by the Liberty Counsel on October 11, 2007