Long Island School Reverses Decision On Christian Club
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Long Island High School has reversed its decision to not allow the formation of a Christian club after the student who spearheaded the initiative claimed the club was rejected because of its religious nature.
Attorneys with Liberty Institute and McDermott Will & Emory LLP, who represent Ward Melville High School student John Raney, recently sent a demand letter to school administrators in defense of Raney’s right to form the club, WCBS 880′s Sophia Hall reported.
The attorneys allege that school administrators said the reason Raney’s club was rejected was because religious clubs are illegal in New York public schools.
“Students of faith in New York public schools have the same freedom to form a religious club as other students who want to form a fishing club or chess club,” said Liberty Institute Jeremy Dys. “In this case, Ward Melville High School is violating federal law by rejecting this club because it is religious.”
“I felt violated. All me and my fellow Christian friends wanted to do was to meet. We have the same rights that all these other clubs have,” Raney told Hall.
Following an investigation into the matter, the Superintendent of Schools Cheryl Pedisich said the club would be approved for formation, citing that the initial reason for rejection was “apparently inaccurately conveyed.”
The superintendent said the club’s initial rejection was determined by a co-curricular building committee consisting of two administrators and two teachers.
Pedisich also apologized to Raney for his experience with applying to form a club at the high school.
Raney will now have the chance to form the Christian club pending the ability to find a club adviser, which is a requirement that all student clubs adhere to, according to Pedisich.
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