Religious club no longer teacher-led (December 17, 2015)

The Appleton Area School District in Wisconsin is taking steps to ensure that a Christian club is truly student-run.

FFRF learned that Appleton East High School circulated a flyer for a religious student club, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, but listed a teacher’s school email and cell phone number as the contact. “We are writing to ensure that the FCA is entirely student-initiated and student-run, as required by federal law,” wrote Legal Fellow Ryan Jayne in a Dec. 7 letter to the school district. “In our experience, adults often organize and participate in FCA events. If the FCA club is not student-initiated and student-run, AEHS should dissolve it.”

“School and district administration have met with the FCA supervisor and reviewed FCA meeting practices for club operations,” wrote Superintendent Lee Allinger in an emailed reply on Dec. 17. “We also took this opportunity to reinforce legal and district requirements.”

Allinger also stated that the objectionable flyers had been removed and future flyers would not contain supervisor contact information, and thanked FFRF for sharing its concerns.

Freedom From Religion Foundation