Liberty Counsel Stands by Barron Collier High School Chorus Bullied by ACLU

Oct 30, 2014

Collier County, FL – Liberty Counsel has offered to represent Barron Collier High School against the ACLU, which wants the school chorus to cancel its fall concert rather than hold it at a church.

“This is another case of one ‘offended’ adult trampling the rights of students,” said Mat Staver.

The courts have held the use of religious property by a school district to be constitutional if there is a clear secular purpose for the use, the use does not endorse or discourage religion, and the “reasonable observer” would not conclude that the school district endorses religion.

“Barron Collier High School meets all three of these criteria,” Mat Staver pointed out. The clear secular purpose to Barron Collier HS Chorususe the Presbyterian church auditorium is for sufficient room to hold the crowd and appropriate acoustics. “One wouldn’t play a basketball game in a church, and neither would one perform a concert in a gymnasium,” Staver said.

The concert does not endorse or discourage religion. The school chorus does not have to meet any doctrinal requirement or become entangled in any matter of the church. The students know that they are simply using a building.

Finally, the “reasonable observer” will only hear the students perform, not a sermon or anything that would cause him or her to conclude the school is endorsing the Presbyterian church.

“This concert is about the kids, not the ACLU or an atheist parent,” said Mat Staver.  “As Americans, we put the needs of children first, above the desires of adults. That is what we do. That is America! As an organization, Liberty Counsel will fight for the rights of these students to display their talents and gifts without being bullied by the ACLU.”

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.



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