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 School District Reverses Policy, Allows Equal Access to Religious Viewpoints

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Lora
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PostSubject: School District Reverses Policy, Allows Equal Access to Religious Viewpoints    Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:42 pm

School District Reverses Policy, Allows Equal Access to Religious Viewpoints

By

CeCe Heil

The ACLJ recently assisted a Church in gaining equal access at a
public school to distribute materials related to release time religious
and moral instruction. Under California law, parents are permitted to
request that their children be released from school supervision for a
limited period every month in order for their child to receive religious
and moral instruction that the child does not receive from the public
school.

Unfortunately, the school district had a policy that prohibited
anyone from distributing “religious materials” including information
related to the release time religious and moral instruction that was
authorized under state law. To make matters worse, the district allowed
distribution of secular materials and specifically targeted religious
materials for discrimination.

After discussing the issue with our client, the ACLJ drafted a letter
explaining that the school’s policy constitutes viewpoint
discrimination against religious speech and that the policy violated the
First Amendment’s prohibition on restricting free speech. In addition,
we explained that the policy was facially inconsistent with the state
law which allows supervised release time for religious and moral
instruction.

Thankfully, after church representatives presented the letter to the
school district explaining the law, the school district has agreed to
change its policy to comply with First Amendment requirements and give
equal access to all viewpoints. The Church will now have equal access to
distribute material related to the release time religious and moral
instruction.

The ACLJ is pleased with this outcome and looks forward to continuing
to vigilantly protect and ensure the ongoing viability of religious
freedom and liberty in the United States and around the world.

___________________
God Bless, Lora  Nice Ta Meet Ya
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