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ACLJ Wins Major Victory on Behalf of 9-Year-Old Students Banned From Sharing Easter Eggs With Bible Verses in Them


Nathan Moelker

May 9

3 min read

Religious Liberty



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The ACLJ took action on behalf of two nine-year-old students who were banned by their teachers from sharing Easter eggs with their classmates because those Easter eggs contained Bible verses. Because of our representation, we achieved a win for our clients. The school has agreed to recognize our clients’ constitutional rights to distribute religious materials, such as Easter eggs, candy canes, and anything else – even Bible verses.

As we shared with you when we first took action in this case in Georgia:

Our clients prepared plastic Easter eggs containing jelly beans, a poem about the colors of the jelly beans, and Bible verses about the meaning of Easter. The plastic eggs were to be handed out by the students the day before Good Friday. Our clients’ parents told the teachers that their children had prepared gifts for their classmates. When the teachers checked inside the eggs and saw the Bible verses, they didn’t allow our clients to hand them out due to the religious content.

This conduct was blatantly unconstitutional. As courts have recognized, and the ACLJ has vigorously defended for many years, the right to share one’s faith includes sharing religious materials with classmates and friends. Elementary school students still possess a right to freely share their faith. The law is clear that suppressing student-to-student distribution of religious literature is unlawful under the First Amendment.

We were prepared to go to court on behalf of these students, and we made that clear to the school. In fact, while we waited for their answer, we even prepared a lawsuit in case we needed to file it. At first the school district made various excuses, such as their concern with children’s allergies. Our clients are, of course, happy to be mindful of the allergies of other students, but we made it very clear that allergies could not be used as an excuse to violate our clients’ rights. No one is allergic to Bible verses, and that was clearly the reason the students were prohibited from distributing the Easter eggs.

Rejecting their excuses, we explained the law to the school repeatedly, explaining why the law clearly protects the rights of students to share their faith. Because of our repeated emphasis on the law, we made the school recognize, in a letter of assurances that will legally bind them, that our clients “are free to distribute religious messages in a non-disruptive manner during non-instructional time.” This recognition should not have required legal action, as it is the legal baseline well codified in the law, but it was necessary here because of this school’s unconstitutional conduct. We are proud to have achieved this legal victory for these young students trying to share their precious faith.

We are thankful that this matter could be resolved before we filed a lawsuit. In other cases, school districts have been resistant to the First Amendment rights of our clients and unwilling to acknowledge those rights. For example, we will be appearing in federal court soon on behalf of a teacher, Staci Barber, who was ordered not to pray where students might see her. Regardless of whether a case can be resolved promptly or requires a protracted lawsuit, we are prepared to work on your behalf to fight for your rights to express your faith. If you are the victim of such discrimination on the basis of your faith, please contact us at ACLJ.org/HELP.

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