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).
ASK YOUR PRINCIPAL.
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.
2. LEGAL FACTS LETTER
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: