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Freedom of Religion - Part 4

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• Can a high school legally prohibit religious groups from using an auditorium that is available without restriction to non-religious community groups? A federal district court in Pennsylvania said no. Here are the facts. A Christian student group requested permission to use a high school auditorium for a one-night performance and evangelistic message by a noted magician. The students' application included the application fee of $1,379. When school authorities discovered that the proposed use of the auditorium included a religious message, they denied the application, citing a school policy prohibiting "use of school facilities for religious services, instruction, or activities." The student group thereafter sued the school district, alleging a violation of the constitutional right of free speech. The court agreed, noting that "the state is not required to open its property to the public ...

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Posted:
  • March 1, 1988