The Iowa Family Policy Center says Davenport schools have agreed to clarify students’ right to hand out religious materials. Attorney Timm Reid is with the family center’s Iowa Liberty and Justice Center, which filed suit after students were told they couldn’t hand out flyers and copies of the New Testament.He says the constitutional principles are pretty clear, that students outside of class time can hand out religious as well as non-religious materials on the school grounds. The materials in question were flyers promoting a church’s youth program and its plan to open up a youth gathering place in Davenport. He says the school district feared it was not allowed as a public entity to allow the distribution of religious materials, but they were mistaken. When the school board meets in Mid-August, it’s agreed to adopt a policy it’s writing up that will clarify the constitutional right and the district’s position. The Iowa Civil Liberties Union, which had opposed the singing of the Lord’s Prayer at Woodbine High’s graduation earlier this summer, joined with the Family Center on this case.Reid’s surprised that they’re on the same side, since he says they’re typically opposed on religious issues, but here there’s clearly a constitutional issue they agree on. The ICLU position was also that the Davenport district was wrong in limiting the students’ exercise of religious freedom, even though Woodbine’s religious performance in the graduation was, by contrast, the district itself promoting religion.
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