High school student John Raney was told that religious schools were illegal in New York. But the Equal Access Act of 1984 says something different. Find out what at FirstLiberty.org/Briefing.
John Raney was a student at Ward Melville High School on Long Island, New York. He wanted to start a student club that would do acts of service to the community and encourage fellow students in their faith.
So, he did what the leaders of the chess club the fishing club the Frisbee club had done: he applied to form an extracurricular club at the school. But, the administrators of his high school denied the application, saying that, despite the school having 41 different student clubs, religious clubs were illegal in New York.
First Liberty, along with our volunteer attorneys at McDermott, Will & Emory, sent a demand letter to the school, explaining that the Equal Access Act of 1984 required the school to permit John’s religious club. The school quickly agreed to support John’s club.
You would think that would be the end of it, but a year later, when John went to renew his club’s application for his senior year, he was denied again. Another demand letter did the trick and John’s club was able to continue doing good for their school and for his community.
The Equal Access Act of 1984 says that a school must allow religious clubs at public schools if it offers support to secular extracurricular clubs on campus. Student religious clubs may not be treated differently by public school administrators simply because they are religious in nature.
To learn how First Liberty is protecting religious liberty for all Americans, visit FirstLiberty.org.