Fortunately, all it took was a demand letter from Liberty Counsel to the Medina City schools (OH) for them to stop censoring Christian group, Child Evangelism Fellowship’s Good News Clubs, and allow them to distribute flyers.
Liberty Counsel represents Child Evangelism Fellowship of Greater Akron (CEF) and its ministry coordinator, Bryan Rush. A school district official denied approval of the Good News Club flyers, which consisted of meeting announcements and parental permission forms, claiming that only information about booster club or school-related meetings could be given to the students.
The school district’s official policy does not limit materials from any specific organizations but gives the superintendent unfettered discretion to determine which groups are favored.
As is usually the case, the schools had no issue with other secular groups’ distributing flyers.
Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: “After litigating First Amendment issues for nearly 20 years, I am amazed that every school official in America doesn’t know that discrimination against Christian groups is unconstitutional. It is unfortunate that it takes the threat of a lawsuit to make schools abide by the First Amendment and allow Good News Clubs the same advantages given to secular clubs.”
One would think that in the last thirty or so years since prayer has been taken out of schools, teen abortions legalized, rampant sex among young people, and countless other immoral behavioral problems, school officials could see the unmistakable link between these problems and the absence of God in schools. Here’s a hint: we didn’t have the problems until God got the boot. Groups such as Child Evangelism Fellowship promote respect, good citizenship and moral values from a biblical viewpoint, which couldn’t conceivably contribute to any immoral conduct.
But the goal of school officials is not respect, good citizenship and moral values. As long as students learn to read, write, and tolerate others, no matter if they are immoral, they are “educated.” Contrast what is considered “educated” today with what the Founders thought. The Founders were crystal clear on what their desire was for Christianity and education.
Samuel Adams: “Let divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the age by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls, inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity… and leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system.” [October 4, 1790]
In Benjamin Franklin’s 1749 plan of education for public schools in Pennsylvania, he insisted that schools teach “the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern.”
“Education is useless without the Bible” [Noah Webster. Our Christian Heritage p.5 ]
Benjamin Rush: “Let the children who are sent to those schools be taught to read and write and above all, let both sexes be carefully instructed in the principles and obligations of the Christian religion. This is the most essential part of education”
Letters of Benjamin Rush, “To the citizens of Philadelphia: A Plan for Free Schools”, March 28, 1787.