Good News Clubs get good news about meetings in schools

By WND Staff

Officials with Liberty Counsel have announced there is good news for the Good News Clubs, after school programs for children in schools.

The organization had been trying set up events in Hawaii’s schools, and had been banned.

An injunction now has been issued allowing those meetings, just like the meetings of many other after school programs.

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“This is a great victory for Child Evangelism Fellowship, parents, and the students in Hawaii public schools. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that public schools cannot discriminate against Christian viewpoints regarding use of school facilities. Child Evangelism Fellowship gives children a safe space that offers moral and character development from a Christian viewpoint. Good News Clubs should be in every public elementary school,” said Liberty Counsel chief Mat Staver.

Calling it a victory for equal access, Liberty Council confirmed that the injunction is against the Hawaii state Department of Education and six different elementary schools.

The result is that the program will be given access equal to other programs.

A lawsuit had been filed by Liberty Counsel only months ago on behalf of CEF Hawaii and its Good News Clubs after six schools denied them equal access.

“During the lawsuit, Hawaii’s Department of Education conceded that one school denied CEF Hawaii use of its facilities based on religion, while another school’s denial was due to a ‘misapplication’ of school policies. CEF Hawaii contended that after it appealed the ‘blatant religious discrimination’ of these denials to the Hawaii State Department of Education, it never received any response, nor did school officials take any corrective actions,” Liberty Counsel explained.

The injunction that has been delivered from the courts in the case means the clubs now are protected from viewpoint discrimination. It also requires schools to make timely response for future applications.

It was before COVID that there were a dozen or so such clubs meeting.

“Then, after restricting after-school programs due to COVID-19, schools fully restored after-school programs in 2022. However, the Hawaii State Department of Education, through four of its superintendents and other officials, had denied every request submitted by CEF to restart its programs and either expressly or effectively denied every appeal, while allowing access for other similar groups to meet after school on campus.,” the legal team explained.

CEF Hawaii is a Christian non-profit organization and a subsidiary of Child Evangelism Fellowship Inc., an international non-profit worldwide children’s ministry. Good News Clubs typically meet once per week, immediately after school, and are led by trained and vetted local community volunteers.

The clubs are free and provide a variety of social, emotional, character and leadership building activities.

There are more than 3,000 such clubs across the country.

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