Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Do School Children Have Freedom of Religion?

The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is that religious freedom is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The latest win in the fight to protect religious liberty came for an elementary schooler in Mississippi. Two years of legal proceedings later, Lydia Booth, age 11, will be allowed to wear her “Jesus Loves Me” face mask to school if she so chooses. A settlement was reached between the Simpson County School District in Mississippi and the Lydia’s attorneys. 

Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal-aid organization, represented Lydia in a lawsuit against the Simpson County School District. The lawsuit was filed in 2020 on behalf of then-9-year-old Lydia after school officials told Lydia that she could not wear her “Jesus Loves Me” mask to school.

Tyson Langhofer, the senior counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom, said in a statement Wednesday: “No student should be singled out for peacefully expressing her religious beliefs.” Michael Ross, Alliance Defending Freedom legal counsel said the following:

Public schools have no business discriminating against a 9-year-old for her religious expression….

Other students within the school district have freely worn masks with the logos of local sports teams or even the words “Black Lives Matter.” Lydia deserves, and will now have, an equal opportunity to peacefully express her beliefs.

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