Court makes judgment in fight over Christian club at school

A federal judge has entered a default judgment against Providence, R.I., Public School District and Supt. Javier Montanez because they refused to respond to a lawsuit on behalf of Child Evangelism Fellowship and its Good News Clubs.

The issue was that the club, which once operated in the district, was shut down with other clubs during COVID.

However, after the pandemic and other clubs were allowed to resume, school officials simply refused to respond to requests from Good News for it to be returned to the schedule.

According to Liberty Counsel, which explains it has fought some 200 court battles over Good News Clubs, and never lost, it had filed a lawsuit against the district last month.

The district simply didn’t answer.

So it “filed an application to enter a default against the school district which will allow Liberty Counsel to seek a final judgment against the defendants. Today, the federal court entered the default against the district and its superintendent. Having raised no defense to the lawsuit, the district will be subject to a judgment requiring it to provide equal access to the Good News Clubs. Liberty Counsel will also pursue attorney’s fees and costs against the defendants,” the legal team explained.

Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver said, “Providence Public School District must now provide equal access for Good News Clubs. Equal access means equal treatment in terms of use of the facilities, including fee waivers, time of meetings, and announcements.”

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Before COVID, there had been a Good News Club at D’Abate Elementary.

CEF wanted, after COVID, to resume those meetings, and expand to Leviton Elementary.

“District officials failed to respond to repeated facilities use applications by CEF Rhode Island. In March 2021, Liberty Counsel received thousands of pages of public records from the school district revealing that when it denied the Good News Clubs’ facilities use requests by repeated failures to respond, the school district was routinely approving the requests of similar groups. In November and December 2021, Liberty Counsel requested prompt approval of CEF’s requests to hold the after school Good News Clubs. The school district did not approve any of CEF’s facilities use requests, despite Liberty Counsel’s letters setting forth the applicable facts, policies, and law,” the team explained.

Liberty Counsel said it resorted to the courts after the district had, for nearly two years, “blocked CEF Rhode Island from hosting its elementary school Good News Clubs…”

The clubs, available for students after school if they choose, provide religious and other teaching and activities to encourage learning, spiritual growth and service.

There are some 4,800 such clubs around the nation.

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Content created by the WND News Center is available for re-publication without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact