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School district will allow religious groupscomment (0)

January 4, 2001

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — A suburban Minneapolis school district dropped its discriminatory policy against religious groups after a lawsuit initiated by the Northstar Legal Center.

The lawsuit was filed against the Rosemount-Apple Valley Independent School District (196) last June on behalf of St. John’s Lighthouse Community Church, which is located in Rosemount. In November 1998, the Rosemount school district flyer distribution policy was changed to specifically exclude religious organizations from distributing materials to students and parents.

Previously, the church had sent notices advertising its Celebration Athletic Games to the school for distribution to district students. After the change in policy the church was not allowed to distribute its flyers for the Celebration Games; the event was cancelled last summer because of low attendance.

According to Jordan Lorence, general counsel for the Northstar Legal Center, the district agreed to an out-of-court settlement in the case. Lorence said the school district will change its materials distribution policy to one similar to a policy suggested by the Minnesota School Board Association.

The policy will no longer “eliminate or exclude a group simply because who its sponsor was or what they were going to talk about,” said Lorence.

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