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April 27, 2012 Print

Good News for Good News Club

by Karla Dial

A federal court case against a school district outside Phoenix was dismissed Thursday, after the school agreed to give a child evangelism group the same treatment as other community organizations seeking to advertise at an elementary school.

Child Evangelism Fellowship Phoenix asked the Dysart Unified School District for permission to distribute fliers to students at West Point Elementary School in Surprise, Ariz., last October.

Though the district had already agreed to similar requests from the Boy Scouts, Cesar Chavez Foundation, Interfaith Community Care, Sun City Area Interfaith Services, Salvation Army Sun City Corps and Valley of the Sun United Way, administrators said advertising a Good News Club that meets after school was “against district policy” because it is “religious in nature.”

The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) filed the lawsuit in January, pointing out the legal precedents that already uphold religious organizations’ constitutional rights. The school district agreed earlier this month to amend its policies, allow the fliers to be distributed and pay attorneys fees.

“A Christian organization should have the same right to publicize its voluntary meetings as other groups do,” said ADF Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “The district has done the right thing in approving the Good News Club fliers for distribution and revising its policies that banned religious fliers.”

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