Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Suit Challenges School's Ban On Student's Religious Valentine's Cards

Alliance Defending Freedom announced yesterday that it has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Nazareth, Pennsylvania elementary school student and his parents complaining that under school rules the school principal unconstitutionally censored the student's religious Valentine's cards.  The complaint (full text) in J.A. v. Nazareth Area School District, (ED PA, filed 4/7/2014) alleges in part:
5. NASD permitted students in J.A.'s class to distribute a variety of Valentine's cards bearing secular messages, including cards with human skulls, guns, and weapons, as part of the 2014 class celebration of Valentine's Day.
6. But NASD Policy 220, entitled "Student Expression," prohibits students from engaging in any expression, whether oral or written, that "[s]eek[s] to establish the supremacy of a particular religious denomination, sect, or point of view."
7. Pursuant to NASD's Policy 220 and its practice, NASD singled out J.A.'s religious Valentine's cards for prohibition and censure even though there was no evidence that J.A.'s cards would create a material and substantial disruption at school.