Helping to Get a Good News Club Started in Pennsylvania | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

ACLJ Profile Completion


By CeCe Heil1329860696000

We were contacted by the Director of a Child Evangelism Fellowship organization in Pennsylvania. The organization had successfully started after-school Good News Club programs at various public schools in the area, but the Principal of one elementary school denied their request. Various curriculum-related and non-curriculum related activities and group meetings occurred at the school after hours, including Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts meetings.

We spoke with the Director about the situation and sent him a personalized letter explaining that the First Amendment requires public elementary and secondary schools to treat religious student groups the same as non-religious student groups. The ACLJ has represented and assisted numerous groups dealing with similar situations over the past quarter century, including in cases that were decided by the Supreme Court of the United States. These include Lamb’s Chapel v. Center Moriches School District, 508 U.S. 384 (1993), in which the Court held that denying a church access to public school premises after school hours to show a film series on parenting violated the First Amendment, and Board of Education v. Mergens, 496 U.S. 226 (1990), in which the Court held that allowing a student Bible club to meet on a public school’s campus did not violate the Establishment Clause.

We recently received an email back from the Director of the Child Evangelism Fellowship group that said:

I heard today – our flyers have been approved for distribution. . . . [T]he letter was extremely helpful! It made the difference in our gaining access to hold the After School Good News Club . . . . The day after I emailed the letter to them, the principal and elementary superintendent agreed to meet with us, whereas before they were refusing to even meet to talk. It was a very positive meeting and has been positive in all our correspondence since. Thank you for your efforts on our behalf. Again, I appreciate your assistance and support.

We are pleased with this outcome and will continue to help religious groups obtain equal access to public facilities across the country.

ACLJ Comments on HHS Mandate Accommodations

By Geoffrey Surtees1474040828956

The First Amendment forbids the government from prohibiting the free exercise of religion. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a federal law passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in 1993, precludes the government from substantially burdening religious freedom without satisfying the...

read more

ACLJ Headed to Appeals Court

By Carly F. Gammill1473441050496

For over two years, we have been fighting in federal court to vindicate the rights of Dustin Buxton, a Maryland student who was penalized, when applying for a seat in the Radiation Therapy Program at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), because he mentioned his faith during the...

read more

Defending Religious Liberty in Armed Forces

By Skip Ash1472495173576

Have you heard what Mikey Weinstein and his Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) are up to now?!? They have discovered that an Air Force major stationed at a base in Colorado keeps an open copy of the Bible on his desk at work. Sounds pretty benign, right? Not so according to Mr. Weinstein...

read more

The Contrast Between the ACLJ and the MRFF

By Wesley Smith1472224939648

While the American Center for Law and Justice continues to (1) fight for religious freedom, (2) fight the scourge of genocide throughout the world, (3) battle to limit unconstitutional Executive overreach by the IRS and the Obama Administration, it appears that Mikey Weinstein and the Military...

read more