Lawsuit Filed Against School for Discrimination Against Religious Students

According to reports, the Pennsylvania public school system is being sued by the families of parochial school kids who say their children’s exclusion from co-curricular and extracurricular activities violates their religious liberties.

According to a news release from the Thomas More Society, on July 10, parents of two Centre County parochial school kids sued the State College Area School District (SCASD) for discriminating against pupils who attend religious schools.

A lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania alleging that SCASD and the board of directors infringed the free exercise clause of the First Amendment as well as the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution by excluding students from religious schools from public school activities. 

Thomas More Society special counsel Thomas Breth explained to the media that the district’s equality policy allows any kid in the district to participate in its educational activities, including homeschooled and charter school pupils.

According to Breth, the school district is seeking to rationalize its decision by saying that it is concerned that the participation of pupils from private schools in such events and activities will take away from those of students who attend schools in the district more regularly.

According to the complaint, the school district’s board has approved over a hundred extracurricular and co-curricular activities, including 63 AP and advanced courses, 76 different clubs and organizations at the high school, and 26 different sports teams.

The district violates the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, according to the complaint filed in the Religious Rights Foundation of Pennsylvania v. State College Area School District in U.S. District Court in Williamsport.

State College’s foundation has a stated objective to defend, protect, and promote the religious rights, convictions, prospects, and principles of faith of the students, families, and the wider faith community inside the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.