Mechanicsburg School District agrees to change policies related to bible controversy

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. — A stipulation agreement between the Independence Law Center (ILC) and Mechanicsburg Area School District allowing students to distribute materials, including bibles, during lunchtime was approved by a federal judge on Thursday.

The agreement follows a months-long controversy that began in November when Christians in Action Club, the high school’s bible study group, claimed to have been denied permission to distribute bibles during lunch. That led to the ILC filing a lawsuit, saying that it violated students’ right to freedom of speech.

The agreement allots 45 days for the ILC and school district to draft and implement new regulation pertaining to the distribution of materials. According to The Sentinel, the current policy restricts distribution to 30 minutes before and after school as well as materials being handed out on public sidewalks bordering school property. Exceptions to the policy have to be received via written permission from the building principal or a designee.

During the allotted days, the school district is prohibited from enforcing such policies.

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