Supreme Court Ruling Permits Religious Groups to Use Classroom Space

June 12, 2001

Source: The New York Times

On June 12, 2001, The New York Times reported that "the Supreme Court ruled...that public schools must open their doors to after-school religious activities...The...decision [was based on the] principle...that the expression of a religious viewpoint is speech, protected by the First Amendment...While Justice [Clarence] Thomas described [the Good News Club] as teaching character and values from a religious point of view, both dissenting opinions said the activity consisted of worship and evangelizing...Another question was whether the school district could defend excluding the group as necessary to avoid violating the separation of church and state."