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ADF to students: We want to ‘See You at the Pole’

ADF attorneys affirm students’ rights to hold, participate in event, offer participants free legal support
Published On: 10/18/2017

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Alliance Defense Fund attorneys announced that they are ready to defend, free of charge, students who are prevented or discouraged by public school officials from participating in Wednesday’s 2011 “See You at the Pole” event. In preparation for this year’s nationwide event, ADF attorneys composed a legal memo explaining the legal rights and precedents that entitle students to inform people about and take part in the annual prayer event.

 

“Christian students should not be prevented from peacefully expressing their beliefs outside of class time. They don’t abandon their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman. “Misinformed public school officials need to understand that the so-called ‘separation of church and state’ cannot be used as a reason to keep students from promoting or participating in ‘See You at the Pole.’”

“See You at the Pole” is an annual, student-organized, student-led gathering held at school flagpoles around the world, where students pray for their school, friends, teachers, government, and nation. In the past, some government school officials have unconstitutionally kept students and staff from sharing about and participating in the event, often erroneously citing the so-called “separation of church and state” in connection with the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.

“The only ‘wall’ that prevents religious expression is the anti-religious agenda of the ACLU and similar activist groups,” said ADF Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “Our government and courts have already spoken: Students have a constitutional right to participate in SYATP through prayer and worship activities.”

“Students have an individual constitutional right to inform their fellow students about the SYATP event as long as they do not materially disrupt the academic process while doing so,” the ADF legal memo states. “In addition, if the school allows individual students or student clubs to advertise events through school bulletin boards, school PA systems, general posting of student fliers, or other means, the school cannot forbid the same means of advertising the SYATP event.”

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  • Pronunciation guide: Tedesco (Tuh-DESS’-ko)

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.

 

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