Texas School District Caves to Parents' Call to Shut Down Bible Club
Allie Martin, AgapePress
A Christian student group may have to sue a public school district in Texas over a dispute regarding use of school facilities. The Grapevine/Colleyville Independent School District (GCISD) recently told Students Standing Strong, a student-led Bible study club, that it would have to pay fees to hold a previously approved club meeting on school grounds, sign a rental agreement, and obtain a one-million-dollar insurance policy. Administrators also informed the club it would be banned as a non-curricular student group. Notice of these requirements was given to the club on the Friday before a Monday meeting (April 10) of the club. Liberty Legal Institute, located in nearby Plano, says the district's demands that the club sign a rental agreement and relinquish its status as a student club are in direct violation of the Equal Access Act. Liberty Legal brought that fact to the district's attention in a demand letter that outlined the club's constitutional rights and sought to resolve the matter quickly and without litigation. The letter may have had the desired effect -- in part, at least. Kelly Shackelford, Liberty Legal's chief counsel, says although the club was allowed to use school facilities without charge on that Monday, the issue has not been settled -- and a lawsuit is still possible if the discriminatory practices continue, he says.