Friday, April 11, 2014

ADF: Michigan school district on solid ground to allow Easter egg hunt fliers

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys sent Dearborn Public Schools a letter this week affirming the district’s policy of allowing the distribution of fliers for an Easter egg hunt being held at a church. The district received misguided and inaccurate complaints that allowing distribution of the fliers is unconstitutional when, in fact, prohibiting the fliers is what would violate the First Amendment.

“The Dearborn situation is yet another example of the incredible amount of misinformation
Jeremy Tedesco
that exists about what the First Amendment truly protects,” added Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “Churches have no less of a voice than any other group that benefits the community. Under the First Amendment’s religion clauses, faith-based speech is fully protected.”
A parent complained to Dearborn Public Schools about fliers promoting an “Eggstravaganza” Easter egg hunt at Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church after they were distributed to students as part of a district program that allows a variety of community groups to distribute such literature.

The ADF letter explains that “the First Amendment does not permit public schools to exclude churches from literature distribution…. We commend the school district for respecting citizens’ freedom of speech and for properly teaching students to tolerate opposing views.”

The letter also points out that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, which has jurisdiction over the state of Michigan, has said that the “separation of church and state” is an “extra-constitutional construct [that] has grown tiresome. The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state.”

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