This is the latest installment in a year-end series looking back at some of the numerous victories by the ACLJ in 2018.
The ACLJ is dedicated to defending religious liberty on campuses all over the country, and that includes elementary schools.
When we learned that a first-grader was told she couldn’t pass out invitations to a church holiday event to her classmates, we took action.
A first grade public school student from North Carolina that we represent (along with her mother) was informed that the school district had changed its interpretation of policies concerning student-to-student literature distribution and only birthday party invitations could be passed out going forward.
We quickly wrote the school district a letter explaining that existing school district policies did not prohibit student-to-student distribution of invitations to church-sponsored events.
Additionally, the letter explained that student religious speech is entitled to the same robust constitutional protection as student non-religious speech.
We also noted that, although public schools may reasonably regulate the time, place, and manner of student expression, they cannot bar students from expressing religious viewpoints, including through literature distribution.
Our letter cited several court decisions that held that preventing public school students, including elementary school students, from distributing invitations to their classmates to church-sponsored or other religious events is unconstitutional.
We were pleased to learn that school district reconsidered its policies in light of our letter and the student was able to pass out invitations to the Easter event held by her church without incident.
We must defend and safeguard religious liberties at every level to ensure they remain protected.
To help the ACLJ continue to have the resources we need to make these victories possible and continue defending students’ religious liberty in schools, please consider making a Tax-Deductible donation to the ACLJ through our year-end Matching Challenge. Your gift will be DOUBLED dollar-for-dollar through the end of the year.
You can read more in the ACLJ’s 2018 Victories series here.
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