Good News Club permission slips no longer handled by teacher (January 28, 2014)

FFRF was informed that an elementary school secretary in Sanford, Fla., will no longer be collecting or coordinating Good News Club permission slips after a complaint was sent on Jan. 24.

Child Evangelism Fellowship of Central Florida had distributed registration forms to Geneva Elementary School students, promoting the Good News Club. The registration form directed students to return forms to the school’s secretary.

FFRF Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel sent the letter outlining why a public school may not endorse or provide preferential treatment to Christian groups:

“Despite the appropriate disclaimer, students might presume that Good News Club is sponsored by the school because of the apparent role of school personnel in facilitating the club’s activities by collecting registration forms. While the Child Evangelism Fellowship of Central Florida is entitled to host meetings, there are limitations on adult involvement.”

The Seminole County School Board’s attorney responded on Jan. 28 reporting that the District agreed the Good News Club held the responsibility for collecting the forms, not a public school employee. The school has ceased coordinating the permission slips.

Freedom From Religion Foundation