Christian Club May Not Meet
The Good News Club got some bad news Tuesday.
Though the nation's highest court ruled Monday that the Christian youth group has the right to meet at a New York public school, the school district which fought the group is considering moves that would prevent these meetings from taking place.
Officials at Milford Central School district are weighing two options: barring all groups from meeting at the school, so as not to discriminate against one group over another, or pushing back starting times for all clubs until 5 p.m. or 6 p.m., which Good News says is too late for their meetings.
"That rules out the club meeting at the school," said the Rev. Stephen Fournier, organizer of the Good News Club and pastor at Milford Community Bible Church. "The best opportunity for us to reach the kids was right after school.''
The Supreme Court ruled it was legal for the group to use the public school after school hours; classes conclude hours before 5 p.m.
Superintendent Peter Livshin said the school board planned to meet Thursday to begin talking about a new policy and would have new rules in place before the beginning of the next school year.
In 1996, Fournier and his wife, Darleen, requested access to Milford's K-12 school so young children could learn Scripture, play games and listen to Bible stories. When they were denied, they sued, arguing the district allowed other groups like the Boy Scouts and 4-H use the facilities.
The district countered that permitting Good News Club meetings would amount to a school endorsement of Christianity — that very young children attending its 3 p.m. gatherings might believe the school endorsed the club's religious outlook.