Religious Liberty in Schools Threatened by ACLU Lawsuit

Liberty Alerts, American Center for Law and Justice

As part of its continuing, decades-long effort to protect religious liberty in public schools, the ACLJ is representing the Sumner County, Tennessee, school board from an expansive and aggressive lawsuit brought by the ACLU. The goal of the ACLU lawsuit is to restrict religious liberty and free expression in Sumner County schools much further than the law currently permits. The ACLJ has not only been vigorously contesting the case, it has also turned back an ACLU injunction attempt at the beginning of the litigation.

Unfortunately – and as often happens – the ACLU lawsuit has led to an enormous amount of confusion and uncertainty about what the law allows for both students and teachers. This confusion caused the media to print erroneous reports about school board policy, and these erroneous reports created understandable public outrage.

To counter these reports and to clarify the law, I had the privilege Monday night of hosting a town hall meeting for more than 1,000 Sumner County residents. At this meeting, I shared the ACLJ’s efforts to defend the county from the ACLU, I shared the best and most effective way to protect both student and teacher religious expression, and I reminded the crowd that student free speech rights are sometimes fragile, and the rights students enjoy today are the result of literally decades of hard-fought litigation (much of it, including key Supreme Court cases, fought by the ACLJ).

The Left has been attempting for years to drive religious speech from the public square, and to counter this longstanding and well-financed effort, we have to fight hard, and – critically – we have to fight smart. Fortunately, the Sumner County school board understands the stakes and is committed to protecting the liberty of both students and teachers and will not risk either group’s liberty as it battles the ACLU.

The struggle for religious liberty is waged in counties from coast to coast, and the ACLJ is committed to being everywhere it needs to be – including in Sumner County, Tennessee – to defend our core constitutional freedoms.

Used with the permission of the American Center for Law and Justice.