A Pennsylvania elementary school that allegedly prohibited a student from inviting classmates to a church Christmas party is now the focus of a discrimination lawsuit filed in federal court.
The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) filed the suit against the Pocono Mountain School District on behalf of a fifth grade student. The student claims she was not allowed to pass out fliers inviting Barrett Elementary Center students to a party at her church.
District policies, according to ADF attorney David Cortman, prohibit any student speech promoting Christianity.
"It's another example where schools need to be educated about the First Amendment," Cortman told Fox News Radio. "The policies that are at the heart of this lawsuit are unconstitutional."
A spokesperson for the Pocono Mountain School District said they were not aware of the lawsuit and would be unable to comment on any pending litigation.
Cortman said the incident in question occurred last December when the child brought tried to distribute the fliers before class started. The 28-page lawsuit only identifies the student by her initials, "K.A." and refers to her as a Christian who "desires to share her religious views with her classmates."
According to the lawsuit, the church Christmas party was not overtly religious. It invited children to participate in "face painting, ping pong, foosball," along with refreshments.
"The teacher said she needed to get permission from the principal, so she went to the principal who then said she needed to get permission from the superintendent," Cortman said. "The superintendent denied her request."
Cortman said the irony is that students are allowed to distribute fliers and invitations for non-religious events.
"Other students can hand out fliers for birthday parties, pizza parties, and Halloween parties," he said. "In this case, because it was religious, it was denied."