KS School District Changes Free Speech Policy after Student Lawsuit

Carrie Dedrick | Wednesday, April 30, 2014

KS School District Changes Free Speech Policy after Student Lawsuit

A Kansas school district will now revise its policy on free speech after a middle school student brought on a lawsuit reports Christian News. Robert E. Clark Middle School student, “K.R.” sued the Bonner Springs/Edwardsville Unified School District for stifling her first amendment right when she was told to stop placing religious posters in school.  

The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) organization defended K.R., filing a complaint. According to the lawyers, K.R. posted scripture verses in school, hoping to generate interest for the annual "See You At the Pole" event.

“...K.R. was confronted by Ms. Chellie Bonebrake, a counselor at Clark Middle School. Ms. Bonebrake forcefully told K.R. that the flyers K.R. had posted at the school were ‘illegal’ because they were a violation of the separation of church and state,” the ADF statement said.

The school’s policy previously banned “religious materials...on school grounds or in any attendance facility before, during, or after the school day or a school activity.”

ADF Legal Counsel Matt Sharp said, “Public schools should encourage, not shut down, the free exchange of ideas. For that reason, we commend the school district for revising its policy so that all students, regardless of their religious beliefs, can enjoy freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment. The law on this is very clear: public school policies cannot target religious speech for exclusion.”