A Christian organization has been allowed to continue distributing promotional flyers to elementary school students at the Cascade School District in Washington state, according to reports earlier this month.
The school district had banned the distribution of flyers for Good News Club, an after school Bible study program offered by the Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF), after a parent submitted a complaint. The school notified CEF in early October that distributing the flyers was a violation of a Cascade School Board Policy, which restricts religious promotional materials or announcements by non-students from being disseminated.
After a legal non-profit called Liberty Counsel contacted the superintendent school district, it retracted its directive to CEF and canceled the policy that barred religious material and announcements from being distributed.
“Both the prohibition and the section of Board Policy (“BP”) 2340 supporting it violate the First Amendment and are unconstitutional,” the letter states. “The decision should be reversed, and Section F of this policy, and any others making unconstitutional distinctions regarding religion, should be discarded so as to avoid unnecessary liability for civil rights violations.”
The letter also cites a 2001 U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Good News Club v. Milford Central School District case, in which the court ruled that the Good News Club “must be granted the same access to public school sites as other youth groups engaged in moral and character development.”
“The Cascade School District made the appropriate decision to eliminate the unconstitutional policy and recognize that the Good News Club has equal access to students,” Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, said in a statement. “Public schools cannot discriminate against Christian viewpoints and allow other organizations to promote their materials.”