This comes via the Alliance Defense Fund, so I’d take it with a grain of salt. For now, I can’t find any other information about this case.
Here’s what it boils down to:
A Christian mother wants to form a Christian club for her Christian child at his middle school in Atlanta, Georgia.
The school said student or parent-led clubs cannot officially form. (i.e. This has nothing to do with religion.) Only teacher-sponsored clubs can form.
The plaintiffs identified teachers who would be willing to sponsor the Christian club (called Student to Student).
The school still said no to them and forbade the plaintiffs from talking to staff members about this club.
This is an excerpt from the complaint (PDF)
78. After Defendants labeled STS as “parent-led” and denied Plaintiffs’ request, Defendants then told Plaintiffs that only “teacher-sponsored” student clubs could exist (even though the label “teacher-sponsored” has zero legal or practical significance, given that non-curriculum student clubs across the nation are “sponsored” by teachers or staff).
79. Plaintiffs thus applied to meet as a “teacher-sponsored” club.
80. Plaintiffs had even identified teachers who would be possible sponsors for the STS Club.
81. Yet, the Defendants flatly denied Plaintiffs’ request and even went so far as to prohibit Plaintiffs from even talking with any Sutton teacher about involvement in the STS Club.
They can meet as an “outside group” and pay rent if they want school space… but that’s not the point. The plaintiffs want to be able to use school space for free and publicize their events like all the other clubs.
Sutton Middle School has no other religious clubs (or atheist clubs) right now.
I’m wondering what I’m missing here. As far as I can tell (with my non-existent legal experience), this group should be allowed to form. Plaintiffs said that STS would be open to any student (presumably including gays/atheists), so it’s not a discrimination issue…
Is there any reason they should not be able to form?