Sunday, November 16, 2008


Your formal letter of request should include these parts:

1. What you want to form
2. That you won't meet during curricular times
3. What your basic purpose is
4. A statement of thanks and/or appreciation
5. A list of founding members with signatures
6. The name and signature of your faculty sponsor (see Step 2)

After you turn in your letter of request, you should ask your principal if you need to submit a mission statement, charter or statement of faith (steps 4-6); we recommend that you have those ready and hold them in your hand so that your principal knows you're ready to turn in whatever is needed.

BELOW IS A LETTER YOU CAN USE. Yup, just copy and paste this into Word or another word processing application. Then just replace the parenthesis with your school name, your founders' names and signatures, and your faculty sponsor's name and signature.

MAKE A COPY OF THIS LETTER. The copy is for your own records. Make sure you copy it after you get all the signatures. Just in case the principal claims something "happened" to the letter, you can just fork over another copy. Or if it ever went to court, then you would have evidence. (You won't go to court though; that's VERY rare.)


Formal Letter of Request

Date: (Replace this with the date)

We, the students of (Replace this with your school name) are formally requesting permission to start and charter a new student Christian organization on campus. This organization will meet only during non-curricular time and will primarily be concerned with helping to foster positive discussion of spiritual matters according to the Bible and prayer.

We seek no other amenities than those already given to existing non-curricular clubs.

We thank you for your consideration.

(Replace this with the name and signature of a founding member)_______________________________________

(Replace this with the name and signature of a founding member)_______________________________________

(Replace this with the name and signature of a founding member)_______________________________________

Faculty Sponsor:

(Replace this with the name and signature of the faculty sponsor)______________________________________________________________________________

WHEN YOU TURN IN THE LETTER don't just drop it in a box somewhere. Hand it to your principal and tell your principal that you'd like to start a club. Tell your principal that you have a list of founding members and the name and signature of your faculty sponsor (see step 2). Ideally, you should have all this prepared when you first talk to your principal. You should know if your school allows non-curriculm clubs, and then you should ask your principal if the school allows non-curriculum clubs. When your principal says yes, you should tell your principal that you want to start a Bible Club and hand your principal the formal letter of request. For further details, see Step 1.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


If your request is denied, and your school allows non-curriculum clubs, then make sure you present some of the resources we provide to your principal. Show them the legal fact sheet and the letter from Bill Clinton, but try to do it as gracefully and humbly as possible (I know, that sounds impossible, but you can try).

Read more about the resources here:

IF THEY STILL REJECT YOUR REQUEST, then we recommend you contact some of the FREE LEGAL COUNSELORS below. We have listed several excellent organizations below that exist for this exact defend a Christian's Legal Rights. If you are under 18, make sure that you have a parent or guardian help you to make contact.


1. The American Center For Law and Justice
P.O. Box 64429
Virginia Beach, VA 23467

2. Alliance Defense Fund15333 North Pima Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

3. Christian Law Association
P.O. Box 4010
Seminole, FL 33775

4. The Rutherford InstituteP. O. Box 7482
Charlottesville, VA 22906-7482

5. Christian Legal Society
4208 Evergreen Lane
Suite 222
Annandale, Virginia 22003-3264
Phone: (703) 642-1070
Fax: (703) 642-1075

In case you didn't read it earlier, all the above Legal Counselors are FREE!!! They exist to serve you.

Most of the above information was from (taken down):

Even if you got shot down and your school allows at least one other non-curriculum club, and you don't feel like fighting your school, you should really consider contacting one of the organizations above anyway. Not only is your school illegally disallowing you your right (according to the Equal Access Act), but they are also disallowing all future classes (kids in other grades) from that right as well. By showing your school that they have to let you start your Bible Club, you are enabling future classes in your school (the kids who attend your school in the future) to also start a Bible Club.

Your impact could carry through your school for decades to come!

- Ed

Bill Clinton told your schools that you can start a Bible Club

That's right. Bill Clinton had the US Secretary of Education send a letter out to all the schools, telling them that they had to let you start a Bible Club in your school (as long as they allow non-curriculum clubs; for more info, click here).

Here's a quote from Bill Clinton:

"...Schools do more than train children's minds. They also help to nurture their souls by reinforcing the values they learn at home and in their communities. I believe that one of the best ways we can help out schools to do this is by supporting students' rights to voluntarily practice their religious beliefs, including prayer in schools.... For more than 200 years, the First Amendment has protected our religious freedom and allowed many faiths to flourish in our homes, in our work place and in our schools. Clearly understood and sensibly applied, it works."

President Clinton
May 30, 1998


And here is the full letter from the Secretary of the State:

Dear American Educator,
Almost three years ago, President Clinton directed me, as U.S. Secretary of Education, in consultation with the Attorney General, to provide every public school district in America with a statement of principles addressing the extent to which religious expression and activity are permitted in our public schools. In accordance with the President's directive, I sent every school superintendent in the country guidelines on Religious Expression in Public Schools in August of 1995.

The purpose of promulgating these presidential guidelines was to end much of the confusion regarding religious expression in our nation's public schools that had developed over more than thirty years since the U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1962 regarding state sponsored school prayer. I believe that these guidelines have helped school officials, teachers, students and parents find a new common ground on the important issue of religious freedom consistent with constitutional requirements.

In July of 1996, for example, the Saint Louis School Board adopted a district wide policy using these guidelines. While the school district had previously allowed certain religious activities, it had never spelled them out before, resulting in a lawsuit over the right of a student to pray before lunch in the cafeteria. The creation of a clearly defined policy using the guidelines allowed the school board and the family of the student to arrive at a mutually satisfactory settlement.

In a case decided last year in a United States District Court in Alabama, (Chandler v. James) involving student initiated prayer at school related events, the court instructed the DeKalb County School District to maintain for circulation in the library of each school a copy of the presidential guidelines.

The great advantage of the presidential guidelines, however, is that they allow school districts to avoid contentious disputes by developing a common understanding among students, teachers, parents and the broader community that the First Amendment does in fact provide ample room for religious expression by students while at the same time maintaining freedom from government sponsored religion.

The development and use of these presidential guidelines were not and are not isolated activities. Rather, these guidelines are part of an ongoing and growing effort by educators and America's religious community to find a new common ground. In April of 1995, for example, thirty-five religious groups issued "Religion in the Public Schools: A Joint Statement of Current Law" that the Department drew from in developing its own guidelines. Following the release of the presidential guidelines, the National PTA and the Freedom Forum jointly published in 1996 "A Parent's Guide to Religion in the Public Schools" which put the guidelines into an easily understandable question and answer format.

In the last two years, I have held three religious-education summits to inform faith communities and educators about the guidelines and to encourage continued dialogue and cooperation within constitutional limits. Many religious communities have contacted local schools and school systems to offer their assistance because of the clarity provided by the guidelines. The United Methodist Church has provided reading tutors to many schools, and Hadassah and the Women's League for Conservative Judaism have both been extremely active in providing local schools with support for summer reading programs.

The guidelines we are releasing today are the same as originally issued in 1995, except that changes have been made in the sections on religious excusals and student garb to reflect the Supreme Court decision in Boerne v. Flores declaring the Religious Freedom Restoration Act unconstitutional as applied to actions of state and local governments.

These guidelines continue to reflect two basic and equally important obligations imposed on public school officials by the First Amendment. First, schools may not forbid students acting on their own from expressing their personal religious views or beliefs solely because they are of a religious nature. Schools may not discriminate against private religious expression by students, but must instead give students the same right to engage in religious activity and discussion as they have to engage in other comparable activity. Generally, this means that students may pray in a nondisruptive manner during the school day when they are not engaged in school activities and instruction, subject to the same rules of order that apply to other student speech.

At the same time, schools may not endorse religious activity or doctrine, nor may they coerce participation in religious activity. Among other things, of course, school administrators and teachers may not organize or encourage prayer exercises in the classroom. Teachers, coaches and other school officials who act as advisors to student groups must remain mindful that they cannot engage in or lead the religious activities of students.

And the right of religious expression in school does not include the right to have a "captive audience" listen, or to compel other students to participate. School officials should not permit student religious speech to turn into religious harassment aimed at a student or a small group of students. Students do not have the right to make repeated invitations to other students to participate in religious activity in the face of a request to stop.

The statement of principles set forth below derives from the First Amendment. Implementation of these principles, of course, will depend on specific factual contexts and will require careful consideration in particular cases.

In issuing these revised guidelines I encourage every school district to make sure that principals, teachers, students and parents are familiar with their content. To that end I offer three suggestions:

First, school districts should use these guidelines to revise or develop their own district wide policy regarding religious expression. In developing such a policy, school officials can engage parents, teachers, the various faith communities and the broader community in a positive dialogue to define a common ground that gives all parties the assurance that when questions do arise regarding religious expression the community is well prepared to apply these guidelines to specific cases. The Davis County School District in Farmington, Utah,is an example of a school district that has taken the affirmative step of developing such a policy.

At a time of increasing religious diversity in our country such a proactive step can help school districts create a framework of civility that reaffirms and strengthens the community consensus regarding religious liberty. School districts that do not make the effort to develop their own policy may find themselves unprepared for the intensity of the debate that can engage a community when positions harden around a live controversy involving religious expression in public schools.

Second, I encourage principals and administrators to take the additional step of making sure that teachers, so often on the front line of any dispute regarding religious expression, are fully informed about the guidelines. The Gwinnett County School system in Georgia, for example, begins every school year with workshops for teachers that include the distribution of these presidential guidelines. Our nation's schools of education can also do their part by ensuring that prospective teachers are knowledgeable about religious expression in the classroom.

Third, I encourage schools to actively take steps to inform parents and students about religious expression in school using these guidelines. The Carter County School District in Elizabethton, Tennessee, included the subject of religious expression in a character education program that it developed in the fall of 1997. This effort included sending home to every parent a copy of the "Parent's Guide to Religion in the Public Schools."

Help is available for those school districts that seek to develop policies on religious expression. I have enclosed a list of associations and groups that can provide information to school districts and parents who seek to learn more about religious expression in our nation's public schools.

In addition, citizens can turn to the U.S. Department of Education web site ( for information about the guidelines and other activities of the Department that support the growing effort of educators and religious communities to support the education of our nation's children.

Finally, I encourage teachers and principals to see the First Amendment as something more than a piece of dry, old parchment locked away in the national attic gathering dust. It is a vital living principle, a call to action, and a demand that each generation reaffirm its connection to the basic idea that is America -- that we are a free people who protect our freedoms by respecting the freedom of others who differ from us.

Our history as a nation reflects the history of the Puritan, the Quaker, the Baptist, the Catholic, the Jew and many others fleeing persecution to find religious freedom in America. The United States remains the most successful experiment in religious freedom that the world has ever known because the First Amendment uniquely balances freedom of private religious belief and expression with freedom from state-imposed religious expression.

Public schools can neither foster religion nor preclude it. Our public schools must treat religion with fairness and respect and vigorously protect religious expression as well as the freedom of conscience of all other students. In so doing our public schools reaffirm the First Amendment and enrich the lives of their students.

I encourage you to share this information widely and in the most appropriate manner with your school community. Please accept my sincere thanks for your continuing work on behalf of all of America's children.


Richard W. Riley
U.S. Secretary of Education



Check it out. It's legit. It's on the Department of Education's website.

- Ed


This is very crucial. Not all schools allow student organizations that are not DIRECTLY related to curriculum (a curriculum club would be like: Math Club, Spanish Club, FBLA, etc.)

Non-curriculum clubs are student groups that gather about topics that are not directly related to classes offered at the school. If you have a Chess Club, a Stamp Collectors Club, Red Cross meetings, a Robotics Club, or a Jewish Heritage group, then your school probably allows non-curriculum clubs (unless they have a class devoted to every one of those subjects).

Almost all the schools allow non-curriculum clubs, so you might just want to prepare your material before you ask your principal. However, before you turn in your written request (Step 3), ask your principal.

It's the first thing you should say. You can arrange a meeting or stop on by and say, "Hello. Does our school allow non-curriculm clubs?" Then wait for an answer. If the principal says, "yes," then say, "Here's our request for a new club. We want to study and research the Bible." (Or something like that. Then hand your principal the formal letter of request. If they allow non-curriculum clubs, then they HAVE to accept your club.)

Here's why you should say this first... This is the only thing keeping you from legally starting a Bible club (except possibly for Step 2, getting a school faculty member to sponsor your club). So if your principal says they allow non-curricular clubs, then you've locked them into it. You never know if your principal is against the Bible and/or doesn't know the law in this manner. So it will build you the strongest case to get a confirmation before they know what you're doing. That way they can't really change their mind or argue the point if they allow non-curricular clubs. This is not deceiving them, as you are about to make the intention of the club known when you hand your principal your letter of request (Step 3).

The request should include the name of your sponsor (Step 2). Then you should also have your Mission Statement, Charter, and Statement of Faith all ready to go (all three are Step 4). So the next thing you should say, after handing your principal the request is, "Do you require a Mission Statement, Charter, or Statement of Faith?" Let your principal see that you have them all in your hands, ready to go. Let your principal know that you might know more about the process than they do (do this with your actions; don't say it). Then hand whatever documents to the Principal that they need.

The point is to be prepared and to travel down the path of least resistance. The point is not to act cocky or as if you deserve specific rights. Of course you do, but as Christians we were created to love others more than ourselves. Keep reading; we have more details in this warning below.

IF YOUR SCHOOL DOES ALLOW NON-CURRICULUM CLUBS, then the Equal Access Act guarantees your right to have a Christian club at your school. Your religious liberties to do this have been affirmed in court cases for many years.

IF YOUR PRINCIPAL SAYS NO TO YOUR CLUB, but they do allow other non-curriculum clubs, then print out two or more of the following documents we link to, and then hand them the documents. We recommend the first two: 1) the judge's ruling in California in September, 2008, and 2) the quote from Bill Clinton with the explicit letter from the US Secretary of Education...

Even this year (Sept, 2008), a federal judge ruled against a school in Anaheim, CA, that refused a Bible Club. The judge saw that the school held Red Cross meetings, and he ruled that they are, in fact, a non-curriculum club school, and they had to allow all non-curriculum clubs, including a Bible Club. So if your school allows any non-curriculum clubs, they have to let you meet.

Read about it here:

Bill Clinton actually had a letter sent out by the US Secretary of Education, telling the schools that they have to allow Bible Clubs and other religious clubs (as long as they allow non-curriculum clubs):

Or read it on our site:

IMPORTANT: We have some excellent Legal Fact Sheets that you can print out to take to your principal if there is opposition to your right to have a Christian Student Organization. Please print out a few copies of these and give one to your school administration, and file one away for your club. DO NOT DEMAND YOUR RIGHTS, but humbly make them known. It is not a good testimony for the Lord to have Christians demanding things or threatening lawsuits. A humble attitude will open a lot more doors.

You shouldn't say: "See. It's my right to start a club! You have to let me do it!!!"

You should say: "Please read this ruling in California from September 2008, this quote from President Clinton, and this letter written to teachers and principals from the US Secretary of Education. I also included the links on the pages that go to the legitimate sources."

Be direct but tactful and gentle. This is your chance to witness to your principal and the staff through your behavior. Give them a reason to respect and not despise you.


1. Letter for Principal Outlining Your Rights or click here.
3. Sample School Board Policy Regarding Religion
4. The Rutherford Institute's legal sheet to school superintendents

Some of the above information was from (now closed down):

IF YOUR REQUEST IS DENIED, even after you present proof that the law allows you to start a Bible club, and your school does allow one or more existing non-curriculum club to meet at school, then read the following article with resources you can go to for free legal representation:


- Ed

Judge Rules O.C. High School Can't Ban Bible Club

Judge Rules O.C. High School Can't Ban Bible Club

Sep 4, 2008 3:48 pm US/Pacific

ANAHEIM A north Orange County high school has been told it can no longer ban a Bible club from meeting on campus and must offer them listings in the school's yearbook and Web site, it was reported Thursday.

Until the federal court ruling, students had been prevented from starting a Bible club at Esperanza High School in Anaheim. Placentia-Yorba Linda School District officials argued that only curriculum-related groups are allowed on campus, the Los Angeles Times reported.

But in issuing a preliminary injunction last Thursday, U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney said that Esperanza does allow other groups -- such as a Red Cross club -- to meet on campus, even though he said they are not directly related to academics, according to the newspaper.

That means the district must follow the federal Equal Access Act and 1st Amendment and allow the Bible club to form, Carney said, according to The Times.

The club will now be able to meet on campus, have access to an advisor and school supplies, and be listed in the yearbook, complete with a photo.

"Schools must provide a microcosm of society, along with the freedom for students to be exposed to diverse and challenging views and choose between them," Carney wrote, according to The Times.

"The district's objections seem to be based, at least partially, on a paternalistic desire to control the views and outlets available to students during the day."

The preliminary injunction stands until the case goes to trial, but district officials say they will now review the school's club policies and decide whether to fight the suit.



If a school allows ANY non-curriculum club, then it must allow ALL non-curriculum clubs, including Bible Clubs.

- Ed