Greater Albany Public Schools in Oregon will no longer give preferential treatment to the Good News Club over other after-school groups, thanks to a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
The district partners with community organizations for early release day programs, including a community program, Boys and Girls Club, and Good News Club, a Christian organization. FFRF Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel formally complained on Sept. 11, pointing out that the website linked directly to Good News Club’s registration forms, but did not link to other alternative organizations. Only Good News Club’s forms were sent home with students the first week of school and made available at schools. Good News Club forms were turned in to the school office.
“By extensively coordinating the Good News Club’s signup, the District is providing a benefit to the Good News Club that it does not afford other secular programs, indicating District endorsement of the Good News Club’s Christian message,” wrote Seidel.
The complaint was forwarded to FFRF from its Portland chapter. Cheryl Kolbe, chapter president, informed FFRF on Oct. 29 that the website had been modified so that parents and guardians were instructed to contact Good News Club directly as they directed for other groups, making the District’s policy even-handed.