High School in Florida Allows Religious Clubs to Participate in Homecoming Parade Float

( [email protected] ) Nov 07, 2003 08:42 AM EST

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Students at Dr. Phillips High School were planning to file a lawsuit against the school for not allowing homecoming parade float sponsored by the Young Republicans Club and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes but on Wednesday school officials decided to give permission to the students to participate in the event.

Earlier this week, school officials were hesitant about giving permission to the two student groups who would be presenting political and religious ideology that could offend the crowd.

The Young Republicans Club plans to have students wear black T-shirts with the word “Evil” bowing down before a statue of Hussein and have another team of students chase away the “Evil” and topple the statue.

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes is planning to have a float featuring students holding signs with the words "sex," "suicide," "depression," and "drugs" with another group of students crossing their arms facing the signs and tear up the signs at the end promoting "Let Jesus Rock Your Night Away."

"Students will be able to express the essence of their clubs and maintain proper decorum for our high school event," Principal Gene Trochinski said in a statement.

A school is unable to limit such student-sponsored speech unless it is disruptive to the school's operations, said Mathew Stover, president and general counsel of the Liberty Counsel.

"Schools cannot censor the message just because they disagree with the message," Stover said.

The homecoming parade is set for Thursday night.