How Can You Do This in Public Schools?
The most frequently asked question we hear is, “How can you do this in a public schools?” This question is propagated from a complete misunderstanding and misrepresentation of the phrase “separation of church and state.”
The answer comes from the 2001 United States Supreme Court ruling in the case of Good News Club v. Milford Central School. In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that public schools cannot exclude Bible clubs from meeting after hours at the school’s limited public forum because such exclusion constitutes unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination. In other words, if schools allow other outside groups to meet on school property, then allowing organizations such as KiDs Beach Club® is perfectly within the law. In fact, not only is it within the law, but to deny equal access simply because of religious content is actually discriminatory and unconstitutional.
Even so, in order to help keep our schools free from outside scrutiny or criticism, KiDs Beach Club® works within the district and school’s board-approved protocols to lease the facilities that we utilize while we are on campus. Additionally, we require a parent permission form to be completed for any child who participates in KiDs Beach Club®. This allows the forum for our Beach Clubs to be clearly identified and separated from the school program. By following these processes, we help protect the school and district and avoid conflict from other groups who may differ in their viewpoints of what we teach.
Related Content: Religious Freedom in Focus