Alliance Defending Freedom stands with ‘See You at the Pole’ participantsFree legal support available to students who have encountered obstacles to holding, participating in event
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
“Christian students should not be prevented from peacefully expressing their beliefs at school. They don’t abandon their constitutional freedoms at the schoolhouse gate,” said Senior Counsel David Cortman. “Misinformed public school officials should understand that the Constitution protects students who wish to promote or participate 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. This year, more than 3 million students from 20 countries are expected to have participated in the Sept. 26 event.
In the past, some government school officials in the U.S. 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 secularist groups that misrepresent the First Amendment,” said ADF Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “Our government and courts have already spoken: students have a constitutionally protected right to participate in ‘See You at the Pole’ through prayer and worship activities. Alliance Defending Freedom stands with students across the country in this important movement.”
The Alliance Defending Freedom legal memo explains that “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 flyers, or other means, the school cannot forbid the same means of advertising the SYATP event.”
- Pronunciation guide: Tedesco (Tuh-DESS’-ko)