Court Rules Public School Can’t Farm Out to Christian School

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by Ed Brayton

In Jefferson County, Tennessee, the local public school district decided in 2003 to close its Alternative School — the school for kids who get expelled or in some other kind of trouble — and farm out the education of those students to Kingswood School, Inc., a Christian school. A federal judge has now ruled that this is a violation of the Establishment Clause.

Even after Kingswood took over the alternative school services for all of JeffersonCounty, Kingswood continued to refer to itself as a “Christian environment” in some of its documents.

The Kingswood Easter 2006 letter quotes Luke 18:16 and displays crosses at the top of the page,with the words, “Kingswood School is unique because we offer children a Christian environment….Kingswood remains one of the few places where children in need come get help in a Christian environment.We are a non-profit faith based ministry…” 25.

Kingswood’s website indicates “Kingswood has survived independently by remaining true in faith to the principals of a Christian education without being bound to the doctrine of a particular denomination or sect’s control.”…

Kingswood implemented a Family Feedback Policy, which required students to submit a Family Feedback form every week.

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