Christian Students’ Rights in Public Schools

The Students’ Bill of Rights was produced by the American Family Association Law Center. This document may be freely copied and distributed.

1. You have the right to meet with other Christian students on campus for prayer, Bible study, and Worship. The First Amendment guarantees the right of freedom of association with others.

2. You have the right to form and meet with Bible clubs and prayer groups on campus. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the federal Equal Access Act gives students the right to organize and participate in Bible clubs and prayer groups, just like any other club that is not related to curriculum.

3. You have the right to share your Christian faith on campus. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech, which can not be prohibited on school grounds without significant justification.

4. You have the right to wear Christian t-shirts or symbols to express your beliefs through your clothing, jewelry, buttons, etc.

5. You have the right to carry your Bible, and read it during unassigned reading time on campus.

6. You have the right to publicize the gospel or hand out tracts on campus. First Amendment free speech rights include the right to hand out literature, use school bulletin boards, school news- papers or other methods of communication available to students.

7. You have the right to include religious themes or points of view relevant to school projects. Nothing in the Constitution prevents the mention of religion or religious beliefs in school. In fact, religion can be legitimately studied, if the school does not try to advocate a particular faith.

8. You have the right to study and to observe Christmas and Easter holidays on campus. These have been held to be part of the culture and heritage of our country.

9. You have the right to voluntarily participate in prayer at school. The only prayers which have been held unconstitutional are those which are mandatory and initiated by the school administration. Student-led initiated prayers are allowed.

10. You have the right not to participate in activities (or possibly classes) that conflict with sincerely held religious beliefs.

The Right to Petition

Another right brought to our attention is the right to meet with School Officials According to J.W. Brinkley and Roevery Communications. “The First Amendment to the Constitution forbids Congress to make any law that would restrict the right of the people to petition the Government (School officials).”