ADF to students: We want to ‘See You at the Pole’ADF attorneys affirm students’ rights to hold, participate in event, offer participants free legal support
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
“Christian students should not be prevented from peacefully expressing their beliefs outside of class time. They don’t abandon their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman. “Misinformed public school officials need to understand that the so-called ‘separation of church and state’ cannot be used as a reason to keep students from promoting or participating in ‘See You at the Pole.’”
“See You at the Pole” is an annual, student-organized, student-led gathering held at school flagpoles around the world, where students pray for their school, friends, teachers, government, and nation. In the past, some government school officials have unconstitutionally kept students and staff from sharing about and participating in the event, often erroneously citing the so-called “separation of church and state” in connection with the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.
“The only ‘wall’ that prevents religious expression is the anti-religious agenda of the ACLU and similar activist groups,” said ADF Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “Our government and courts have already spoken: Students have a constitutional right to participate in SYATP through prayer and worship activities.”
“Students have an individual constitutional right to inform their fellow students about the SYATP event as long as they do not materially disrupt the academic process while doing so,” the ADF legal memo states. “In addition, if the school allows individual students or student clubs to advertise events through school bulletin boards, school PA systems, general posting of student fliers, or other means, the school cannot forbid the same means of advertising the SYATP event.”
- Pronunciation guide: Tedesco (Tuh-DESS’-ko)