Demand letter to district sheds light, gets results

Wednesday, December 18, 2019
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

Student Bible on deskAfter receiving a demand letter from a legal firm, a New York school district now says it will approve a student's request to form a Christian club on campus.

First Liberty Institute sent a letter last week to Wappingers Central School District, which oversees Ketcham High School, demanding the district approve a club request from 14-year-old Daniela Barca – this, after the school repeatedly denied her request. (See earlier story)

"The school district responded to our letter and said that they were going to approve the club," reports First Liberty attorney Keisha Russell. "So what that means is that they will present the club proposal in its original form to the school board January 13 – and as with all club proposals, the board will vote.

Russell

"They do not expect any issues with the voting – so after January 13, Daniela should be able to meet with her Christian club," adds the attorney.

Russell commends Barca for her bravery in standing up and telling her story – "especially in high school where you feel you might be the only Christian," she points out.

In its letter to Wappingers Central School District, First Liberty cited the Constitution and the Equal Access Act of 1984 as reasons why the district should allow the Christian club.

Russell explains the Equal Access Act is a federal law "that basically says if a high school that receives federal funds approves of other non-curricular clubs – 'non-curricular' means something that isn't math, science, something like that – then they can't discriminate against religious clubs.

"They have to allow all clubs equally," she concludes, "and they cannot censor what the clubs are talking about, based on the speech."

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