Ohio school district ends religious recruitment (April 2024)

A complaint by FFRF has resulted in an Ohio school district prohibiting outside groups, including religious organizations, from recruiting elementary school children during school lunch hours.

A concerned parent informed FFRF that last September, for the second year in a row, Lake Cable Elementary School had allowed adult representatives of the Good News Club to access over 400 students during the lunch period while on school property. Child Evangelism Fellowship, the club’s parent organization, “is a bible-centered organization composed of born-again believers whose purpose is to evangelize boys and girls with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to establish (disciple) them in the Word of God and in a local church for Christian living.” Good News Club representatives spoke to students and promised kids that they would be given “candy and ice cream” if they joined the club. And Lake Cable Elementary sent a Good News Club permission slip home to be completed and returned to the school office.

FFRF Legal Fellow Sammi Lawrence wrote to Jackson Local Schools Superintendent Christopher DiLoreto, insisting that Jackson Local Schools commence an immediate investigation into this matter and make certain that Lake Cable Elementary cease allowing Good News Club representatives to recruit and proselytize students.

FFRF’s decisive action was successful.

“The district has put an end to allowing access to outside groups at the elementary buildings during the school day (as is already the case in all other buildings),” the legal counsel for Jackson Local Schools recently replied in an email.

Freedom From Religion Foundation