Contact: Moises Esteves, VP of Communications and Marketing, Child Evangelism Fellowship®
, 636-456-4321 ext 1311
CLEVELAND, Jan. 19, 2017 /Christian Newswire
/ -- Good News Club® will reopen in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) elementary schools on February 2 now that the school district has changed its policy to ensure that religious groups, such as Child Evangelism Fellowship® (CEF®), receive the same access and benefits to public facilities as non-religious groups.
The school district was previously providing free after-school access to non-religious community groups, such as the Boy Scouts, but imposed facility fees on CEF, resulting in the shutdown of its after-school, Christian character-education Good News Clubs.
In 2013, Liberty Counsel filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of CEF, seeking equal access to the public school facilities for Good News Clubs. Child Evangelism Fellowship won the three-year lawsuit, and an Ohio federal district court found that CMSD violated the constitutional rights of CEF and required the school district to change its facility use policies and pay $150,000 in damages and attorney's fees.
Liberty Counsel represents Child Evangelism Fellowship nationally and has never lost a case regarding the Good News Clubs.
Ron Tant, Vice President of USA Ministries for Child Evangelism Fellowship said, "We celebrate the reopening of the Good News Clubs in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. It's been a three-year ordeal but this victory for equal access, our Constitution and Child Evangelism Fellowship is worth it. Public schools must learn they cannot discriminate against Christian viewpoints. Besides, it's a win-win situation for the students and the schools. Studies show that 85 percent of all people who accept Christ do so before the age of 18. Child Evangelism Fellowship gives children a spiritual education, and more than 87 percent of school administrators say the Good News Clubs are a positive experience for their school," said Tant.Child Evangelism Fellowship is an international, nonprofit, Christian ministry that has been teaching the Bible to children since 1937. CEF has 400 offices in the USA and is organized in most nations of the world, with over 3,200 paid staff and hundreds of thousands of volunteers. In its last ministry year, CEF ministered to nearly 20 million children in its face-to-face teaching ministries.