Legal Group Files Second Religious Freedom Suit Against Plano Schools

For those who are wondering, there is nothing in the Constitution to prohibit children from talking about the Bible or religion at school. As the article points out, the Constitution actually allows that completely. The Plano school district is wrong.

(AgapePress) – A Texas-based legal organization has filed its second federal lawsuit against a public school district accused of trampling the constitutional rights of Christian students.
Earlier this year, members of the Christian Bible study group known as Students Witnessing Absolute Truth (SWAT) asked officials with Dallas-area Plano Independent School District (PISD) for permission to post an organizational description on the “Campus Programs” section of the district website. Administrators refused to allow the Christian club to post its information, citing the religious nature of the student-led organization as the reason.
Hiram Sasser is director of litigation for Liberty Legal Institute, which sued the district on the students’ behalf. He feels it is essential that groups like SWAT stand up for their religious freedom and equal access rights, which are guaranteed under federal law and the Constitution of the United States.
“These rights are very precious — the right to be treated the same as everybody else even though you come from a religious viewpoint,” Sasser says. “What we can’t have in our schools is them not only driving prayer out of the schools, but now they’re going to try to drive out the students bringing in any kind of religious clubs or Bible clubs and things of that nature.”
If opponents of religious freedom and expressions of faith in the public square are allowed to drive God completely out of the schools, the Liberty Legal Institute spokesman asserts, “then we’re going to have a lot of serious problems.” He says PISD’s actions have put the district on the wrong side of the law.
The district website page in question “is specifically designated as a listing of all student groups offered within the school,” the attorney points out. “By banning only the religious group, Plano is in direct violation of the First Amendment and the Equal Access Act.”
“Student clubs that form, they can be Bible clubs or not,” Sasser explains, “but if they are Bible clubs, then they still have to be treated the same. They have to be given official recognition status, access to the P.A. system, bulletin boards, announcements, websites — all that stuff that all the other clubs enjoy.”
The filing on behalf of SWAT is the second lawsuit Liberty Legal Institute has filed against PISD. The first lawsuit stems from a case in which a student was prohibited from handing out religious-themed gifts, including candy canes.
Sasser says the Plano Independent School District could have avoided litigation by not denying the Christian club equal access in the first place. Unfortunately, he contends, the district has a pattern of violating students’ religious freedom and then repeatedly attempting to “cover its tracks” by changing its policies after the fact.
Liberty Legal Institute is urging the district to sign an Agreed Judgment so the school officials cannot go back and change its policies again to avoid respecting Christian students’ rights to freedom of religious expression and equal access to school facilities.

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