An elementary school in Washington state has reportedly punished a second-grade Christian student for witnessing to other students on the playground.
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a conservative, Christian social activist organization, is representing the student and her family in their demand for retribution from North Hill Elementary.
According to Christina Compagnone, an associate counsel with the ACLJ, the little girl was sent to the principal’s office “no less than 10 times” since January 1 for sharing her faith with classmates on the playground.
“Not only were they scolding her for talking about Jesus to her classmates outside of instruction time, but they were stopping her at the entrance to the school every morning to inspect her backpack and remove any Christian tracts!” Compagnone said in a statement.
When the girl’s mother confronted the principal on the matter, she was told that her daughter was not allowed to distribute tracts or crosses to students because it was “upsetting parents.”
“Christian tracts were being treated as contraband, as if speaking about Jesus were an illicit drug,” Compagnoneasserted.
After the girls’ parents contacted ACLJ, the group sent a letter to the school arguing that the student had the right to share her beliefs under the First Amendment. The principal, however, responded by citing a school policy that prohibits students from sharing materials that “cause a disruption or interfere with school activities.”
As reported by The Christian Post, Compagnone noted that the Highline School District has a Freedom of Expression policy that only prohibits the distribution of materials when it disrupts school activities, such as “an assembly or classroom setting,” but not on the playground.
“Students are free to express their religious views while at school, which includes sharing Bibles, Christian tracts, and crosses,” she added.