Liberty Counsel Defends CEF Good News Clubs for Equal Access

Child Evangelism Fellowship Inc. (CEF) is an international non-profit worldwide children’s ministry with the purpose to share the gospel with boys and girls and to establish them in the Word of God. Good News Clubs are one of the primary ministries of CEF. Good News Clubs typically meet once per week, immediately after school, and are led by trained and vetted local community volunteers. The clubs provide religious and other teaching and activities to encourage learning, spiritual growth, and service to others, as well as social, emotional, character, and leadership development. Good News Clubs do not charge a fee and welcome children with written permission from parents. There are currently 3041 Good News Clubs in public elementary schools across the United States, including several in Hawaii schools.

In June 2001, the U.S. Supreme Court in Good News Club v. Milford Central School ruled that public schools violate the First Amendment by not providing equal access and equal treatment to Christian clubs when the school has opened the forum to secular clubs.

However, various public schools will attempt to discriminate against and deny the Good News Clubs access to campus facilities on an equal basis while allowing other similar non-religious organizations. That's when Liberty Counsel steps in and represents CEF nationally and, as a result, has never lost a case involving Good News Clubs.

Examples of recent Good News Club cases:

Providence Public School District in Rhode Island - VICTORY!

In a victory for equal access, CEF Rhode Island and its Good News Clubs prevailed in Liberty Counsel’s lawsuit against the Providence Public School District and its superintendent, Dr. Javier Montanez. The Good News Clubs are now free to hold after school Bible clubs. A federal district court approved a Consent Decree that prevents the school district from discriminating against CEF, declaring the Christian clubs are entitled to equal access “on the same terms” as other after school clubs.

Good News Club Wins Equal Access in RI School District

Hawaii State Department of Education - LAWSUIT FILED!

Liberty Counsel filed a lawsuit on behalf of CEF Hawaii against the Hawaii State Department of Education and the superintendents of four of its locations for violating the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, state laws, and school policies by discriminating against and blocking CEF from hosting its elementary school Good News Clubs in certain district facilities that are open to other, similarly situated non-religious organizations.

Good News Clubs Must Have Equal Access in Hawaii

Hawaii CEF Good News Club Files Suit Over Equal Access

Oakland Unified School District in California – DEMAND LETTERS SENT!

Liberty Counsel sent two demand letters to Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), including to Superintendent Dr. Kyla Johnson-Trammell and the school board, for discriminating against CEF NorCal East Bay by denying its elementary school Good News Clubs access to district facilities on an equal basis with other similar non-religious organizations. Since January 2023, CEF NorCal East Bay has requested to use public facilities to resume holding the after-school clubs on four different campuses. However, the school district has violated state and federal law by denying these requests and has failed to respond to Liberty Counsel’s last demand letter sent December 8, 2023.

Oakland School District Denies Bible Club Equal Access