Students at a Long Island, New York high school have been denied permission to create a Christian community service club.
For two consecutive years, educators at Ward Melville High School have blocked about twenty students from attending Students United in Faith, according to a Charisma News article by Todd Starnes, host of Fox News & Commentary.
"I feel like they have something against me and my faith," 17-year-old John Raney and founder of the group, told Starnes. "I feel marginalized."
Last year, Ward Melville High School reversed its decision to ban the faith-based club after receiving a demand letter from Liberty Institute and law firm McDermott Will & Emery outlining the illegality of its decision.
However, once again this year, as SUIF came up for renewal, Ward Melville officials denied its request to be recognized as a club on campus.
To avoid further legal action, the letter states that by October 9, 2014, Ward Melville High School officials and its School Board members must reconsider their position and grant student leader John Raney’s request to formally register SUIF.
“This is not a complicated issue,” Hiram Sasser, Liberty Institute Litigation Director, said in a statement. “Simply put, public schools cannot discriminate against religious clubs and must treat them the same as other student clubs on campus.”
School officials claim the club did not meet the minimum number of members nor did the district have the funds to support the organization.
Starnes writes, “they've got everything from a fishing club to a ceramics club. They even have a Gay-Straight Alliance.”
Publication date: October 7, 2014