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Freedom of Religion - Part 1

• Many churches use public school facilities on a temporary basis (and during noninstructional hours) during the construction or renovation of their own facilities. Many other churches have considered such a practice. Are such arrangements legal? That was the issue before a federal appeals court in New York in a recent case. A church applied for and was granted permission to use a public school building on four consecutive Sundays while its own church facility was being renovated. During the four week period, the church applied for a permit to use the school facilities for an additional "six to eight months." This permit was denied, and a trial court granted the church's request for an injunction forcing the school district to issue the requested permit. On appeal, the school district defended its refusal to grant the permit by pointing to a New York law that prohibits public school ...

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  • January 2, 1989