An Indiana federal district court has sided in favor of the Child Evangelism Fellowship ministry in a discrimination case with the school district of Pike Township.
The court ruled the school district violated the First Amendment by requiring CEF to pay facilities-use fees for Good News Club meetings while waiving the fees for similar but non-religious groups.
The Good News Club is a children's ministry whose gatherings include Bible lessons, songs, and scripture memory games for Kindergateners through fifth graders, free of charge.
Liberty Counsel presented the argument in federal court last July, asking the district to provide equal access and benefits to school facilities for the ministry.
Liberty Counsel said the school district previously ignored CEF's numerous attempts to resolve the constitutional violations for nearly two years.
The court's decision permanently prohibits the district from charging CEF any fees in the future.
The district was also ordered to repay CEF all of the unconstitutionally charged fees which totaled $85,000.
"We are pleased that the Indiana Metropolitan School District of Pike Township's policy has been permanently blocked by the court," said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel.
He continued, "Schools cannot discriminate against the religious viewpoint of Good News Clubs. This has been the clear ruling from the Supreme Court since 2001. Good News Clubs are good for children, parents, and especially good for schools."