Fla. elementary school religious club disbanded (May 2024)

FFRF has ensured that the Fellowship of Christian Athletes will not be able to organize and run a religious club for students at an elementary school in Hamilton County School District in Florida.

FFRF was informed that Hamilton County Elementary School had permitted the North Central Florida Fellowship of Christian Athletes to begin a new club at Hamilton Elementary. A Jan. 27 post from the official North Central Florida FCA Facebook account announced the “New Huddle” at the elementary school.

Additionally, on Feb. 9, the district’s assistant superintendent informed FFRF’s complainant that the Fellowship of Christian Athletes is an official “student-led” organization at Hamilton Elementary. The complainant was told that there were no records of the Fellowship or an affiliated group renting space at Hamilton Elementary. The response made it clear that the school was allowing a religious club for children at an elementary school during the school day.

FFRF Anne Nicol Gaylor Legal Fellow Sammi Lawrence contacted the district about FFRF’s concerns, and, thankfully, the district was willing to listen to reason and obey the law.

“The district has investigated the allegations of your letter and concluded that there was a small group of fifth grade students participating in such a club at the school,” the legal counsel for the school district recently responded to FFRF. “While these same students will be eligible to participate in FCA on the campus of Hamilton County High School in a few short months as six graders, in an effort to avoid any perception that such a gathering on the campus of Hamilton Elementary is being organized, promoted or endorsed by the district or its employees, the club has been dispersed.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation