July 13, 2024

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July 13, 2024

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Forbidding Biblical Truth?: California School District Prohibits Christian Club From Elementary School

A school district in California has been accused of wrongfully prohibiting a Christian student club from meeting at a local elementary school.

According to Liberty Counsel, Hayward Unified School District (HUSD) rejected three separate requests from Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) to let one of its Good News Club chapters meet at Fairview Elementary School.

A Good News Club had been meeting at Fairview Elementary for a number of years until COVID forced the cancellation of all clubs in the spring of 2020, Liberty Counsel said. Once clubs were allowed to return to district schools, CEF asked three separate times for the Good News Club to be allowed back on campus at Fairview, but the school district did not respond. 

Other clubs, including Girl Scouts and Girls on the Run, have been allowed to resume meeting on campus after school. 

On Aug. 21, Liberty Counsel sent a letter to the school district detailing the facts, policies and laws that prohibit the district from denying CEF’s use of school facilities. The letter demanded that the school district “immediately approve CEF’s renewed facilities use request to hold a Good News Club after school on campus at Fairview Elementary School.”

Liberty warned the school district to respond by Aug. 31 to avoid further legal action. As of Sept. 6, the district had not responded. 

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said in a statement that it is unlawful for the school district to deny the club’s meeting request.

“According to the law, Good News Clubs must be given equal access as the non-religious groups on public school campuses,” stated Staver.  

“Equal access means equal treatment including the use of on-campus facilities, fee waivers, time of meetings, and announcements. Liberty Counsel will work to ensure this happens.”

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A Hayward Unified School District spokesperson told The Christian Post that officials “are investigating this matter and have no comment at this time.”

In 2001, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in Good News Club v. Milford Central School that public schools cannot ban Good News Clubs from meeting on school property after class hours solely because the club is Christian in nature.  

Since that time, however, there have been occasional efforts to prohibit the Christian student group from meeting on public school property outside of class hours.

In March, Liberty Counsel filed a lawsuit against Providence Public School District in Rhode Island after officials there blocked Good News Clubs from meeting at schools for about two years. A federal district court ruled the school district discriminated against CEF by not allowing the Good News Clubs while allowing other clubs to meet. As a result of the victory, the Providence Public School District is permanently mandated to treat the Good News Clubs “on an equal basis with similarly situated organizations, such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Girls on the Run.” The court declared that Christian clubs are entitled to equal access “on the same terms” as other after-school clubs. 

Providence PSD agreed to a consent order in July that allowed the Christian student club “access to District facilities that is equal to and on the same terms as other similarly situated nonreligious organizations offering programs to students in the District.” 

Good News Clubs do not charge any fee and welcome children, regardless of religious belief, with written permission from parents. There are currently 3,285 Good News Clubs, with approximately 2,000 of them meeting after school in public elementary and middle schools across the United States.


Decision Magazine, founded by Billy Graham in 1960, works through its website and monthly magazine to communicate the Gospel, as well as inform and challenge readers about key cultural and Biblical issues.

Editor’s Note: Why Is This News Biblically Relevant?

As Decision Magazine recently underscored, “Today, children are being inundated with the counterfeit truths of this world through a multiplicity of technological devices and media. Indoctrination campaigns with vain ideologies in our educational institutions prey on impressionable children…”

“Children must be taught to have a Biblical worldview from the beginning of their lives,” they wrote. “The world has its permeating syncretism, its vain philosophies, false ideologies, and spurious theologies, but a Biblical worldview is based on God’s unchanging Word.”

The push to teach radical ideologies and keep young children from hearing Biblical truth was highlighted early this year when a campaign sought to ban the Bible from the Davis School District in Utah.

First Liberty Institute, in a letter to the school district, stated that the “serious educational value of the Bible [to] students is unquestionable.”

“Many studies have shown that knowledge of the Bible is actually critical to a student’s education,” First Liberty wrote. “Importantly, it is also illegal for the school district to display hostility toward any particular religion or religious text.”

The Davis School District initially agreed to ban God’s Word, before unanimously reversing that decision only days later.

As Calvin Smith, Executive Director of Answers in Genesis Canada, explained, state-run schools in the West are overwhelmingly humanist and “overtly teach atheism to its young minds and has been doing so for decades.”

“Humanists understood that if you could access young minds while they were separated from their parents’ influence for the majority of their day and institute humanist teachings to proselytize them with their own faith position, then it would outweigh those young people’s religious teaching by more than 10 to 1—literally drowning them in humanistic, religious ideas,” Smith asserted. “Not only do they promote their own religion, but humanists actively undermine other faiths (especially what was once the most dominant in the West—Christianity) to further their entrenchment and influence.”

There is a spiritual battle behind the motivations to keep the Bible away from children. In the apostle Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth, he provided key insight into why Satan works tirelessly to hide God’s Word:

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 KJV – “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

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