County, PA – Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF), which sponsors
after-school Good News Clubs, has recently gained equal access to
use an elementary school facility in Clinton County. Liberty Counsel
has been successful in helping CEF fight discrimination against Good
News Clubs all across America.
News Clubs have been held in two elementary schools in Clinton County
in recent years, but CEF was recently advised that, unlike other groups,
it would have to pay a fee for use of school facilities. The school
district policy allows free access for local groups that are “nonprofit,
nonsectarian and working for the welfare of the community/society
Colburn, director the local chapter of CEF, was first told that CEF
would be charged a fee because CEF was not local. After CEF showed
that it had a local office, Colburn was then told that CEF must pay
because the Good News Clubs are “sectarian.”
Counsel wrote a letter to the board advising that the First Amendment
requires equal access to school facilities for religiously based,
nonprofit youth groups such as the Good News Clubs. Equal access means
that groups are given access on the same terms and conditions as other
nonprofit youth groups like the Boy Scouts.
the board received Liberty Counsel’s letter, the school superintendent
advised Colburn that the board decided to permit the Good News Club
to meet in the school at no cost, just like other similar groups.
McAlister, Senior Litigation Counsel for Liberty Counsel, stated:
“After all the publicity and court decisions favoring Good News
Clubs, I am amazed that public school administrators still don’t
know that equal access means equal treatment.”
Good News Clubs provide guidance
and instruction that changes the lives of young children for the better.
Public schools should be beating down Child Evangelism Fellowship’s
doors to ask for Good News Clubs in the schools. Good News Clubs are
the best thing to happen in public schools in a long time.
D. Staver is the Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of the Liberty University
School of Law.