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ICC Note: Following a complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), a before-school Bible club has shut down at an elementary school in Tennessee. The FFRF said that if any staff members were involved, the club would be considered unconstitutional as a violation of the Establishment Clause. After stopping the club from meeting, the school district issued a statement during which they said that they intend to take the necessary steps to bring back the club next year.

05/02/2017 United States (WMC Action News) – A before school Bible club is no longer operating at a Bartlett elementary school.

The Altruria Bible Club met at Altruria Elementary School before classes started. Dozens of students attended the meetings.

However, Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) heard about the club and contacted the school. FFRF said the school should investigate the club to make sure teachers and staff are not participating, as FFRF said that would violate the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Bartlett City Schools stopped the club from meeting.

Now, the Center for Religious Expression (CRE) is pushing back against the school stopping the Bible club. CRE said the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled “time and time again that equal access for religious groups does not violate the First Amendment, but discriminating against them surely does.”

Bartlett City Schools released the following statement about why it stopped the Bible club from meeting:

“Per our understanding, religious clubs at elementary schools must be sponsored by an outside group. To our knowledge, the K-2 Bible Club at Altruria was not. While this club has been postponed, we are working with the school to ensure the proper steps are taken to allow this club in the 2017-2018 school year.”


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