For roughly the 200th time, Liberty Counsel has gone to court to protect the constitutional rights of the Good News Clubs, run by Child Evangelism Fellowship, to operate on the same basis as other clubs at schools.
And for roughly the 200th time, it has come away with victory.
It is Liberty Counsel that confirmed the most recent fight was in Providence, Rhode Island, where officials in the public school district and the superintendent, Javier Montanez, had been trying to prevent the club from meeting.
But a federal court now has approved a consent degree that bans the district from discriminating against the clubs, and requires them to be allowed in school facilities on the same terms as other clubs.
It was a few months ago, in March, that Liberty Counsel went to court in the fight.
It seems the club had been shut down, along with other clubs, during the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting school activity restrictions.
CEF Rhode Island previously had run a Good News Blu at D’Abate Elementary during 2019-2020.
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When schools reopened, and other clubs were allowed to resume meetings, Good News Club officials asked to resume their meetings, and start a new meeting at Leviton Elementary for the 2021-2022 year.
“District officials failed to respond to repeated facilities use applications by CEF Rhode Island. For nearly two years, the district continued to block CEF Rhode Island from hosting its elementary school Good News Clubs on district school facilities. Yet other organizations such as Boys and Girls Clubs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Girls on the Run were given free use of school facilities for after school programs,” Liberty Counsel explained.
The legal team explained Liberty Counsel has acted in about 200 CEF cases nationally, and “has never lost a case involving Good News Clubs.”
“This is a great victory for Child Evangelism Fellowship and the students and parents of the Providence School District. Public schools cannot discriminate against Christian viewpoints regarding use of school facilities. Child Evangelism Fellowship gives children a biblically based education that includes moral and character development. Good News Clubs should be in every public elementary school,” explained Liberty Counsel chief Mat Staver.
CEF Rhode Island is a Christian non-profit organization and a subsidiary of Child Evangelism Fellowship Inc., an international non-profit worldwide children’s ministry. Liberty Counsel explained CEF Good News Clubs “positively impact the lives of children and their families.”
There are an estimated 4,800 such clubs operating around the nation.
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