Prince v. Jacoby (Bethel) (2002)

(Religious Clubs in Public Schools)

The ACLJ filed suit when Tausha Prince, a sophomore at Spanaway Lake High School in Spanaway, Washington tried to set-up World Changers, a student-led, student-initiated Bible club. School officials refused to allow the club equal status with other student clubs because it was "religious." A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court decision and ruled that the school District had violated Prince's constitutional rights. The appeals court determined that the school district violated the Equal Access Act of 1984 and the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment when it failed to permit the Bible club to have access to the same benefits given to other student groups - including access to the school's public address system. The School District has appealed to the United States Supreme Court, and the ACLJ has urged the Court to deny review.

UPDATE (October 6, 2003):  The Supreme Court has declined to review this case, so the 9th Circuit decision stands.  Another victory for religious freedom!