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Freedom of Religion - Part 2

Multi States
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• Can a public junior high school prohibit students from distributing religious literature in school hallways before the start of each school day? This question was addressed by a federal district court in Pennsylvania in a recent case. The court concluded that the school, by permitting various student groups to meet on school property during noninstructional hours, had created a limited "public forum." Accordingly, the school could not restrict any group's speech on the basis of the content of the speech, unless the restriction was necessary to serve a "compelling state interest" and it was "narrowly drawn to achieve that end." Banishing Christian students to "sidewalks and parking lots" violated the students' constitutional right of free speech, concluded the court, and was not supported by any compelling state interest. The court rejected the school's argument that the restrictions ...

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Posted:
  • July 1, 1988