Thanks to a potential lawsuit against an Indiana school
district, a youth pastor will no longer be allowed to speak with
students in the lunchroom.
Officials for Southwest Allen County Schools say the district no
longer allows a local youth pastor to interact with students
because of the legal threat. But Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel
asserts that this kneejerk reaction is wrong.
"More often than not, what you find are these
schools allow people to come to speak to people there and have
lunch with those that they know and are associated with -- and in
that particular situation, they can't exclude a youth minister just
because he's a minister, because he is sharing a religious or
Christian message with the students," Staver explains. "He has
every right to be able to be there, just like anyone else."
John and Linda Buchanan, whose daughter attends a middle school
in the district, claim the youth pastor's actions violate the First
Amendment. In fact, notes Staver, the school district could
actually be the one at fault.
"If the pastor is the only one that's excluded, then the pastor
may well have a lawsuit against the school for being singled out
and excluded, and therefore, his own First Amendment rights to free
speech are being violated," the Liberty Counsel founder
The Buchanans are quoted as saying, "We're not heathens. We're
not anti-religion; we're anti-religion in public school."