Child Evangelism Fellowship Settles Discriminatory Lawsuit

( [email protected] ) Sep 14, 2004 10:37 AM EDT

According to the Liberty Council, the Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) and the Louisa County School District in Virginia have signed a settlement agreement regarding the District’s policy requiring the Christian club to pay a fee to use the school's facilities.

In the settlement agreement, the District granted the Good News Club, a religious after-school club sponsored by CEF, access to the school facilities free of charge.

On October 14, 2003, Terry Champion of Good News Club applied to reserve a classroom for an after-school meeting in an Elementary School. However the club was required to pay a fee that was not applicable to other clubs such as Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts.

When the District denied free use to the Good News Club, the Liberty Counsel filed suit, seeking a court order to strike down the District’s discriminatory policy.

“Imposing a financial barrier based on the religious viewpoint of persons or groups seeking to access public property violates the First Amendment," said Mathew Staver, President and General Counsel for Liberty Counsel who represented the CEF. "Whether the school bans a group from accessing its facilities or places a financial barrier on the group based on its religious viewpoint, the outcome is the same - the Constitution has been violated. The real winners are the children who will now be able to participate in the Good News Clubs, where they will be taught sound morals and positive character development from a Christian viewpoint.”