Student Free Speech Upheld in New York State | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

Free Speech Upheld in New York State

By CeCe Heil1334255440000

We recently helped to ensure that a 7th grade student could continue to pass out religious messages to other students at her public middle school in New York State. The student had notes with encouraging Bible verses delivered to a few other students. The parents of one of the students complained to the Principal, who then informed the student that she could not pass out personalized religious notes in the future.

After the student’s mother contacted us, we sent her a letter explaining that the First Amendment prohibited public schools from singling out student distribution of religious literature for disfavored treatment. In response, the parent received a letter back from the Superintendent that stated:

Unfortunately, [the Principal’s reaction] is not consistent with District policy or practice. I want to assure you that [your daughter] has the right and will not be restricted from distributing messages to other students during non-instructional time, consistent with District policy and practice that is applicable to students’ ability to share notes and messages that do not have religious content. . . . The District is committed to honoring the rights of students to distribute religious materials during non-instructional time.

The parent and her daughter were pleased with this outcome. The parent sent us an email saying, “I greatly appreciate that you helped me sort out right from wrong when no one else seemed to understand the issue I was having. I GREATLY appreciate your time and talent. . . . Thank you!” Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident, and we will continue to defend the free speech rights of public school students across the country.

Latest in
Free Speech

Angry Atheists Try to Ban Gideon Bibles

By Jay Sekulow1447350056745

The virulently anti-Christian Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is at it once again. What are these atheists so angry about this time? Apparently, Gideon Bibles resting in hotel table drawers are just too much to bear for the self-proclaimed freethinkers, atheists, and agnostics at FFRF.

read more

Why We Need a Special Counsel Now

By Jay Sekulow1445956969389

When I heard the news that the Department of Justice (DOJ) was closing its investigation into former top IRS official Lois Lerner – who’s at the heart of the unlawful targeting scandal of conservative and Tea Party groups – two thoughts came to mind. First, the decision not to bring any criminal...

read more

Obama DOJ Closes Faux Investigation of IRS Targeting Scandal – No Criminal Charges

By Jay Sekulow1445631194865

President Obama’s Justice Department has just announced that it is closing the investigation into the IRS targeting scandal and that Lois Lerner will not face any criminal charges for her actions. What investigation? This faux investigation, conducted by one of President Obama’s top donors , was...

read more

Blatant Moral Injustice: Bergdahl vs. Martland

By Matthew Clark1444752065213

It’s a moral contradiction like no other. Bowe Bergdahl stands accused of deserting his post to cavort with the enemy. Sergeant Charles Martland stands accused of forcefully removing a child rapist from a U.S. military base in order to defend a child. Bergdahl was treated as a hero by the Obama...

read more