The ACLJ recently represented a father and his elementary school daughter who was having her religious freedom violated by a public school in Nebraska. It started when she was not allowed to draw a picture of baby Jesus on a Christmas ornament, but was followed by her bible being taken away from her, and finally being told by her teacher that she could not discuss the Bible or religion during non-instructional time. Although the father contacted the school on several occasions, the violations continued. The father contacted us in late January requesting our assistance with the matter.
On February 7, 2014, we sent a letter to the principal of the school demanding that the school cease its illegal actions and allow the student to exercise her First Amendment Rights, including discussing the Bible and religion, during non-instructional time. We cited to several Supreme Court of the United States cases including Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Cmty. Sch. Dist., 393 U.S. 503 (1969) and Capitol Square Review & Advisory Bd. v. Pinette, 515 U.S. 753 (1995). We also attached the U.S. Department of Education Guidelines on “Constitutionally Protected Prayer in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools.”
In response to our demands, the attorney representing the school sent us a letter on February 12, 2014, in which he stated the following: “Please consider this a written assurance that the school will not prevent [the student] from exercising any of her constitutional rights or otherwise participating in constitutionally protected activity, including the discussion of the Bible and religion as allowed by law.”
This is yet another victory for the ACLJ in protecting the First Amendment rights of students across the country!
The Moral Liberal recommends Jay Sekulow’s: Witnessing Their Faith: Religious Influence on Supreme Court Justices and Their Opinions
CeCe Heil is a Senior Counsel for the ACLJ specializing in public policy and global legal matters including the United Nations.
Used with the permission of the American Center for Law and Justice.