Oklahoma Youth Group Sues to Advertise Bible Study at School

An Oklahoma Christian youth group is filing a lawsuit against the Owasso Public Schools system where it holds meetings because the school district is blocking its efforts to promote its club using the same method as other community groups.

Owasso district is prohibiting the "Kids for Christ" club at Northeast Elementary School from distributing fliers, making announcements and signs, and holding open house-type events to meet interested students.

The district does, however, allow groups such as the Boy Scouts and the YMCA (which stands for the Young Men's Christian Association) and businesses such as Baja Jacks Burrito Shack to promote their activities through such means.

The school district stated that it is simply deferring to school policy which states, "No literature will be distributed that contains primarily religious, objectionable, or political overtones which may be beneficial to any particular group or business at the expense of others."

Alliance Defense Fund Litigation Staff Counsel Matt Sharp explained that U.S. Constitution prohibits actions that would single out religious groups for discrimination.

"A Christian organization should not be targeted for discrimination when it is simply seeking to publicize its voluntary meetings just like other community groups do," Sharp said in a statement.

ADF filed the lawsuit this week.

The court documents charged the district with violating Kids for Christ participants' First and 14th Amendment rights, stating, "the over breadth of the district's policy and practice chills the speech of community groups who seek to engage in private religious expression."

Owasso Superintendent Clark Ogilvie released a statement to Tulsa World newspaper stating that the district does not restrict access to the Kids for Christ or any other religious groups in its schools, but requires those groups to follow school guidelines and policies.

Sharp told Fox News that the club was allowed to promote its activities, fliers and announcements last year.

According to the Tulsa World, the group has between 60 and 65 students. The group holds voluntary Bible studies before school. It also sponsors games, dances, and other social events.