NJ School Officials Decide to Permit Free Speech

5 07 2007

Filed under: ADF, Day of Truth, Day of Silence

School officials in Allendale, NJ, ruled to allow student’s free speech rights. The ruling will result in a new written policy that came as a result of an Alliance Defense Fund lawsuit filed on April 12 because the school told student, Jason Aufiero, was told he could not take part in Day of Truth activities. The Day of Truth is an opportunity for Christian students to respectfully present a different viewpoint than students participating in the Day of Silence, sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network.

The lawsuit was dismissed on Monday as a result of the school’s decision.

“Christian students are entitled to the same First Amendment rights as any other student on a school campus,” said ADF Litigation Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “We are pleased the school will now honor the rights of students like Jason Aufiero by allowing them to speak on current issues, including those related to the Day of Truth.”

ADF attorneys filed suit against the school after officials told Aufiero that he and the members of the school’s Christian Club could not engage in any expressive activities regarding the Day of Truth.

Aufiero and members of the Christian Club had asked permission to hold Day of Truth-related activities on April 20 in order to coincide with the date of a scheduled club meeting. Officially, the Day of Truth fell on April 19 this year. Since 2006, Aufiero and the other club members were repeatedly blocked in their efforts to promote the Day of Truth, although officials continued to support the activities of the Gay-Straight Alliance Club, which expresses support for the homosexual agenda via the Day of Silence event.

“School officials cannot discriminate against Christian students desiring to participate in the Day of Truth while freely permitting other students to participate in the Day of Silence,” Tedesco said. “The new policy ensures that the free speech rights of Northern Highlands Regional High School students will no longer be denied.”

Surprisingly, I agree with Ed on this.

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