AUSTIN – Attorney General Paxton joined a Montana-led amicus brief in support of students’ religious liberties after the San Jose Unified School District (“SJUSD”) discriminated against students wishing to participate in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (“FCA”).
is a religious organization centered around Christianity and athletics,
and it is open to all students wishing to participate in school clubs
across America. To seek a leadership role in the organization, students
must affirm FCA’s Statement of Faith, which, among other tenets of
Christian doctrine, includes a commitment to traditional views on sex
of these views and FCA’s commitment to having leaders that hold
Christian beliefs, SJUSD discriminatorily applied its purportedly
neutral non-discrimination policy to revoke FCA clubs’ institutional
benefits. Certain teachers went further in their blatant disdain for FCA
by rallying students against it, encouraging its members’
ostracization, and even supporting the creation of “The Satanic Temple
Club” to openly mock FCA’s beliefs.
These efforts to infringe on students’ liberties, by both teachers and the district, are abhorrent and unconstitutional.
amicus brief states: “[T]he District’s targeted discrimination against
FCA shows that its non-discrimination abets the District’s punishment of
disfavored beliefs and views. Because of the requirement that FCA’s
leaders affirm its Statement of Faith, the District refused to extend
the same treatment as it does to other student organizations. The
District’s actions, therefore, violate the First Amendment, and this
Court must reverse.”
To read the full amicus brief, click here.