U.S. District Court tells Florida school it cannot prohibit religious expression

Thursday, July 18, 2013
 | 
Bob Kellogg (OneNewsNow.com)

A U.S. District Court in Florida has ordered public school officials to allow a fourth-grade student to hand out invitations to an Easter egg hunt. 

Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit after the principal at Roland H. Lewis Elementary told the fourth grader last year he could not hand out invitations to an Easter egg hunt last year because it was a religious event.

ADF attorney Matt Sharp said a U.S. District Court disagreed.

“We took it to court and got a fantastic court ruling,” Sharp tells OneNewsNow.

Sharp, Matt (ADF)Lewis Elementary is located in Temple Terrace, Florida, where it’s part of Hillsborough County Public Schools.

The ruling upheld the right of students to hand out materials that are religious in nature and, more specifically, the court struck down the school’s ban on proselytizing by students.

The student and his mother had created the fliers to announce a neighborhood Easter egg hunt, where students would hear the biblical story of Easter along with enjoying games and snacks.

The attorney says the court's ruling, that prohibiting proselytizing speech at school is unconstitutional, has far-reaching implications.

 “And we think that alone is going to be an influential option,” says Sharp, “not only in Florida but outside as well as courts begin to see that such bans on proselytizing are unconstitutional targets of religious speech by students.”

Sharp says at the same time his young client was prevented from handing out his invitations, other students and groups were allowed to distribute their invitations and fliers at school.

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

If Democrats choose Rep. Keith Ellison to head up the DNC, it will ...

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

Warehouse fire death toll climbs to 33, includes teens
Renzi quits; Italian populists seek quick vote to win power
Trump continues to defend his call with Taiwan's leader
Chilean court rejects demand against Israeli judges
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key resigns after 8 years
Latest: 24 dead in Oakland fire, more expected
Gun-rights backers vow to 'go on offense' during Trump years
For now, Trump bears signs of a dealmaker, not a policymaker

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Rexnord employees ask for Trump to save their jobs next
Trump expands secretary of state search; more interviews this week
Ryan thought Clinton easily had presidency in hand
Gatlinburg wildfires: 4 things you should know about worst Tenn. fire in 100 yrs.
Trump threatens payback for US companies that move abroad

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day

REASON & COMPANY

NEXT STORY
Court rejects Mayor Bloomberg's soda ban, but those pockets are deep

An appeals court ruling that struck down New York City's big-soda ban is a victory for food freedom and New Yorkers, says a critic of the ban. But don't count out Mayor Bloomberg just yet, she adds.