New York school reverses ban on Christian club after students' bold stand

(Photo: The Liberty Institute)

When students at a New York high school decided to get together and form a new Christian club, they were in for some disappointing news.

While officials at Ward Melville High School, in Long Island, apparently had no problems with a Gay-Straight Alliance, they refused to allow the go ahead for the Students United in Faith.

Students John Raney and Jeremy Johnson wanted the group to be a place where Christian teenagers could get together and also take part in community service projects.

When the club was turned down, they could have just accepted the decision but instead they decided to take a stand and fight for the right to establish their club.

The Liberty Institute got involved when Ward Melville first refused to allow the faith-based club last year and successfully reversed the ban. 

But attorneys from the Liberty Institute had to get involved again when Students United in Faith came up for renewal and Ward Melville officials denied their request to be recognised as a club on campus.

But in a second victory for the school's Christian students last week, the attorneys successfully challenged the position of the Ward Melville officials and persuaded them to avoid a lawsuit by allowing the Students United in Faith to meet on campus.

"We are hoping that the school doesn't make this an annual tradition of violating the Equal Access Act," commented Hiram Sasser, Liberty Institute's Director of Strategic Litigation.

"Congress can pass laws and the courts can issue opinions, but if great Americans like John Raney and Jeremy Johnson don't take a bold stand for freedom, we will all lose our liberty."

Raney said he was very happy the ban had been reversed.

"The publicity surrounding my school's decision to deny our club access to campus has had the happy consequence of helping students hear about our club who otherwise would not have heard and they have begun to support the club in even greater numbers," he said.

"I am thrilled that my fellow club members and I can resume doing good for our community."