Midstate district reaches agreement after Christian group sued

Written by Rachel McDevitt, All Things Considered Host | May 1, 2019 5:43 PM

Photo by AP Photo/Steve Dykes

This story has been updated.

(Harrisburg) -- A midstate school district has reached an agreement with a student group that claimed it was barred from handing out bibles at school.

The Christians in Action Club filed a federal lawsuit earlier this year against Mechanicsburg Area School District for what it said was a violation of the students' freedoms of speech and religion.

The students, respresented by the conservative Independence Law Center of Harrisburg, said their high school principal denied them permission to give out bibles during lunch, because of a district rule that bans groups from sharing non-school related literature during the school day.

The group and the district have reached a compromise that establishes an unattended "distribution center" in the school's commons area, where students can choose to pick up literature throughout the school day.

Student groups can seek permission to distribute information at attended tables before and after the school day.

The district also removed a clause in the student handbook that prohibited speech that "seek[s] to establish the supremacy of a particular religious view."

Individual students, as opposed to groups, are allowed to share non-school related literature during non-instructional times. The district said that's always been the case. 

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