Indianapolis School District Admits Wrongdoing in Religious Flier Distribution

On behalf of an area taxpayer and district resident, Foundation Staff Attorney Rebecca S. Markert (then Kratz) wrote a letter and open records request to the superintendent of the Indianapolis Public School District challenging its distribution of fliers promoting “Safe Summer Youth Fest,” sponsored by East 91st Christian Church, and inviting students and their families to sign up for Vacation Bible School. Markert’s letter said the distribution of religious fliers by public schools, in addition to violating federal law, is “entanglement between religion and government officials” and therefore “unseemly and inappropriate.” Legal counsel for the district responded with a Dec. 4 letter, stating that IPS flier distribution policy requires materials which are non-secular to involve positive student opportunities and undergo an approval process. The letter affirmed that the “Youth Fest” fliers underwent this procedure, but agreed that it should have been rejected in the screening process.

Freedom From Religion Foundation