The ruling came on behalf of a northeastern Pennsylvania student and stated that Pocono Mountain School District policies were unconstitutional in that they prevented a student from distributing Christmas party invitations for a party located at the 5th-grader’s church.
“Public schools should encourage, not shut down, the free exchange of ideas,” said Legal Counsel Matt Sharp. “The speech and literature distribution policies of many school districts in Pennsylvania are virtually identical to the one the 3rd Circuit struck down. These policies violate the First Amendment right of students to distribute religious materials at school.”
The letter explains that the Supreme Court has found that the constitutional right to freedom of speech or expression doesn’t stop when entering the school. This expression is protected under the First Amendment. The letter further explains that this First Amendment right includes the right to pass out materials.
“America’s public schools should recognize the constitutionally protected freedom of all students, regardless of their religious views,” said Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “We hope that school districts in Pennsylvania will respect these freedoms and revise their policies accordingly.”
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.