Dysart Unified School District Sued by Child Evangelism Fellowship Over Flier Ban

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The Dysart Unified School District has been slapped with a lawsuit by a local evangelical group over a policy that bans the distribution of fliers with a religious message.

Dysart, which serves Surprise and El Mirage, allows other community groups to pass out fliers to students while unconstitutionally discriminating against religious groups, says the federal complaint (below) by the Child Evangelism Fellowship of Arizona.

According to the lawsuit filed yesterday, the CEF wanted to promote its "Good News Clubs" that are held after school hours at West Point Elementary School. When held at other schools and promoted with fliers, the clubs typically attract dozens of students. The first six meetings at West Point, however, failed to attract any. 

Other school districts have been sued successfully for doing the same thing, notes Jeremy Tedesco of the Alliance Defense Fund, which is providing legal services for the CEF along with the Center for Arizona Policy.

He's right: The Scottsdale Unified School District used to have such a policy, but a 2003 lawsuit brought with the help of the ADF reversed it. Like other school districts, Scottsdale's current policy still has some restrictions against fliers that groups may pass out, such as rules against swear words or defaming people.

The CEF's national office has been on a crusade for years to open up more schools to its Good News Clubs; in 2001, it won a similar case at the U.S. Supreme Court.

At the clubs, students study Bible stories and memorize sections of the Good Book, (though presumably not "bad news" passages like, say, Numbers 31:17-18), play games and sing songs.

A Dysart official declined comment on the lawsuit.

Cef vs Dysart Suit

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William  Clock
William Clock

In the event your intention shall be successful to the internet, time management needs to be essentially the most important matter to you.

Walter Concrete
Walter Concrete

Why should public funded schools be blackmailed into allowing religious groups to have access to their facilities for their own use?    Let the religious groups acquire their own facilities with their own funds if they want to influence children into their philosophical leanings.   Public funded schools are for public education and not for controlled religious processing of children.  


Hate to say it, but they're right.  Content based restrictions are almost per se unconstitutional.


Everybody else has access to public school children - the corporate influence starting in the very early grades is shocking to those of us who grew up in another era.  I agree in a sense with what you are saying but I think that ideally, all organizational influence should be taken back out of the schools - but we are not on that road now.  Having visited the link I can visualize me personally taking issue with this entity in the future, but for now they look OK.  Religious entities are allowed in prisons and sorry but our schools, imho, do function very similarly.  Offerings that keep children engaged positively are important to keeping them in school;  after school activities can be a lifeline for kids vs. the gang mentality pervasive throughout our culture, our neighborhoods - just everywhere.  Personally there are many manifestations of organized religion that I find offensive in the extreme, therefore this move needs to be watched closely - of course all religious denominations can then have after school activities and if it results in creating a tense competitive battle ground at school they will have failed just as they seem to have failed in real life.  You may be right.


Agreed.  Glad they are doing it.

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