Freedom Writer |
January/February 1989 | access.html
Equal Access rapped
A public high school cannot permit student religious groups to meet because
it "would impermissibly advance, rather than neutrally accommodate
religion." This is how Judge Jerome Farris summed up the 3-0 decision by
the U. S. District Court of Appeals (9th Circuit) in San Francisco. The case
was brought before the court by a Christian student group at Lindberg High
School in Renton, WA. The students' request for a before-school Bible study
and prayer meeting had been denied by school officials.
The January 17th decision is seen as a blow to the Equal Access Act of 1984,
which permits religious groups to meet on the same basis as other
extracurricular groups. Although the Renton school system disallowed all
non-curricula clubs from meeting, the court indicated that any on-campus
religious meetings would probably violate the constitutional requirement for
the separation of church and state.
The Christian group plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
© 1998 Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc.