What Are My Legal Rights as a Student?
Is it Legal to have a Christian Club in the Public School?
The Equal Access Act allows students to uphold their First Amendment in their school.
Students have the right to form religious clubs and to be given the same privileges as other secular clubs.
The only difference is that religious clubs MUST be initiated and led by students.
To Read the Full Act from the US Department Of Justice click HERE
The Equal Access Act
"It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights of freedom of speech or expression at the school house gate." -United States Supreme Court
the Equal Access Act was passed by Congress to end growing discrimination against student religious groups that began to occur in public schools.
One year later...
a group of students attending Westside High School got together to form a club for Bible study, prayer and fellowship. After talking with school board members and officials, their request for a Christian club on campus was denied. However, the students were not about to give up.
On June 4, 1990...
the students won their case before the Supreme Court. In what soon became known as the “Board of Education of Westside Community Schools vs. Mergens” case, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Equal Access Act and rejected the idea that schools may censor or discriminate against student’s religious speech. This means that student religious groups have the right to meet on an equal basis as do other non-curriculum student clubs.
The Equal Access Act is designed to ensure that, consistent with the First Amendment, student religious activities are accorded the same access to public school facilities, as are student secular activities. Based on decisions of the Federal courts, as well as its interpretations of the Act, the Department of Justice has advised that the Act should be interpreted as providing, among other things, that:
1. THERE ARE OTHER NON-CURRICULUM CLUBS
2. IT IS INITIATED BY STUDENTS
3. IT IS LED BY STUDENTS
If you have any problems with your school administration, call your area director at YFC at (631) 385-8333 or email us at email@example.com
YFC will refer you to a lawyer who provides legal assistance at no cost if the need arises.