A Christian rock band banned from playing at a public school assembly filed a federal lawsuit against the suburban Toledo (search) district on Thursday, claiming discrimination and violation of their right to free speech.

Rossford High School officials in December canceled the band Pawn's (search) performance at an anti-drug assembly. Board members said they feared a lawsuit if they allowed a religious performance in a public school.

School officials declined to comment Thursday on the suit by the band, which is represented by The Rutherford Institute (search), a Charlottesville, Va., center that deals with church-state issues.

Band members said in the lawsuit that they did not intend to play any songs at the assembly that referred to religion and had agreed to stick to the anti-drug message.

Kyle Kleeberger, a Rossford senior and a member of the band, said after his group was banned that he hoped "we can get more publicity to take Jesus Christ to more levels and follow whatever his plan is."