Court Rejects Attempt to Keep Out Bible Club at High School

Anaheim, CA – A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against the Placentia-Yorba Linda School District for its denial of equal access to a Christian club on one of its high school campuses. The Court found that Esperanza High School allowed students to form and join other clubs and on that basis should not have denied the application of the Bible Club. “[F]reedom[] for students to choose between participation in perse clubs and to shop around in the marketplace of ideas[] furthers one of the schools’ most important educational missions: to develop leaders and citizens capable of democratic participation,” wrote U.S. District Judge, Cormac Carney. Carney (49), found that in contrast to that mission, “[t]he District’s objections seemed to be based on a paternalistic desire to control the views and outlets available to students&.”

“It can be scary for a high school student to stand up against her school district to do the right thing,” stated the parent of the student plaintiff in response to the Court’s ruling. “We are thrilled, relieved and excited that the Court has upheld a student’s undeniable Constitutional rights,” the parent continued. The names of both the student and the parent are being kept confidential in papers filed with the Court. Karen Milam, who heads PJI’s southern California office argued the case last Monday. “We are very pleased that the court has once again found that students do not lose their first amendment rights when they enter the school room door,” she said.

Brad Dacus, PJI president, commented, “We are delighted with the work of Karen Milam in the southern California office. This is just another example of why her team is so important to furthering the work of PJI throughout the state.”