Dispatches from the Creation Wars

NH School Ends Flyer Distribution

A school in New Hampshire that has been sued by the Alliance Defense Fund for distributing flyers from community non-profit groups but refusing to do so for religious groups has changed their policy to end all flyer distribution not specifically school-related:

The new policy limits access to students’ homebound backpacks to the school itself; school-associated volunteer groups that have been sanctioned by the school board, such as Friends of Music and Alvirne High School boosters; government agencies; and the local parent-teacher organization.

The old policy allowed information from those groups, plus “nonprofit community organizations operating in the town of Hudson.”

The school knows that the old policy was not going to stand up in court:

Superintendent Randy Bell said lawyers have told him case law is “stacked against” the district in a federal lawsuit over the distribution of fliers advertising a summer Bible school.

“The attorneys felt that given the open-ended nature of the policy, we might well lose the lawsuit,” Bell said.

The Hudson School Board unanimously adopted a policy change Monday night because it has already been sued under the old policy, which regulated the announcements and promotional material sent home with students.

They opted for one of two possible solutions: they either have to allow all non-school community groups to use the distribution system or allow none of them. They cannot discriminate on the basis of religion.