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School Locker

Gold v. Wilson County School Board of Education

Last Updated 7/21/2022

What's at stake

The freedom of students to share their religious beliefs at school without fear of censorship or punishment

Students being told that they can't promote or participate in events like See You at the Pole and National Day of Prayer

Summary

Students and parents affiliated with Lakeview Elementary School in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee had placed posters in the hallways of their school on an annual basis promoting the “See You at the Pole” event. The posters, made on personal time without use of school funds or supplies, included the disclaimer:  “See You at the Pole is a student-initiated and student-led event and is not endorsed by Lakeview Elementary or Wilson County Schools.” Despite the disclaimer, school officials ordered the students and parents to cover up the references to God and prayer, as well any passages of Scripture, if they wanted the posters to be displayed.

Represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, several families filed a lawsuit against the school district, challenging the censorship of their religious posters. The United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee temporarily ruled in favor of the families, and then approved an order permanently stopping the school from "suppress[ing] religious speech on posters that are created by students and parents to announce and describe See You At The Pole and National Day of Prayer events."

Our role in this case

Alliance Defending Freedom represented these families in the defense of their rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

Legal Documents

Court
Title
Date
Trial Court
8/31/2009
Trial Court
5/1/2009
Trial Court
3/3/2009