Members of Fellowship of Christian Athletes Prevented from Meeting, Promoting
Events Like Other Student Groups at School
Elizabethtown, Kentucky—First Liberty Institute this week sent a letter to the
Hardin County (KY) School District demanding that it adopt policies protecting the civil
rights of its Fellowship of Christian Athletes (“FCA”) student group. The letter also
requests that the school to reverse policies depriving students and teachers of their
rights to religious expression.
“The singling out of students involved with FCA is exactly the kind of hostility toward
religion that the law prevents,” said Roger Byron, Senior Counsel for First Liberty
Institute. “Hardin County school officials are acting like they are above federal law. They
must treat students who are members of FCA equally.”
School officials prohibit faculty and staff in FCA from meeting during non-instructional
time even though other student clubs meet at the same time. Furthermore, the letter
explains, school policy prohibits members of the FCA from announcing meetings
through the public announcement system or from having bulletin boards displaying
FCA’s activities because of the club’s religious viewpoint like other student clubs can.
In its letter to school officials, First Liberty explains that the Equal Access Act, passed by
Congress in 1984, prohibits schools from denying access to school facilities for religious
groups if secular groups are allowed to meet. It adds that the District’s policies
regarding teacher social media posts and wearing “religious logos” violate teachers’
rights. The letter adds that First Liberty Institute attorneys are willing to work with the
District to develop policies that will protect the religious freedoms of students and
teachers while maintaining the neutrality required under the Establishment Clause.
“Banning religious clubs and students from meeting when other clubs meet is nothing
more than discrimination,” says Byron. “We hope this school district ends its clearly
unlawful behavior and protects the religious liberty of everyone on campus.”
You can read the demand letter, here.
To read more, go to FirstLiberty.org/Hardin-FCA.
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To download a copy of this press release, click here.
About First Liberty Institute
First Liberty Institute is the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.
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