Sometimes the only way to make your point is to keep repeating yourself. So it is when explaining why the law requires educational institutions that receive federal funding, like Ward Melville High School, to allow clubs such as the one formed by17-year-old student John Raney in 2013.
Students United in Faith meets to discuss faith and to plan charitable endeavors. Last year, Ward Melville officials sought to ban the club because of its religious character, but retreated after getting a letter from the Liberty Institute (dedicated to “restoring religious liberty in America”).
Near the beginning of this academic year, the school again moved to ban the club. Again, Liberty Institute intervened, threatening a lawsuit. Again, the school backed off.
If it were a private school, say, Atheist High, the school would well be within its rights to say “don’t come here unless you are willing to forgo any religious club.” Those hypothetical school officials wouldn’t be violating anyone’s rights.
But a public school funded by taxpayer dollars? Well, if it provides for extracurricular activities like clubs, it is acting as a part of the government to violate the right of freedom of association when it arbitrarily bans a club.
So what’s next? Either the administrators at Ward Melville High will keep trying the ban until they can get away with it; or, having finally learned their lesson, they’ll leave the group alone.
Thank goodness students and parents have the Liberty Institute in their corner.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.