Good News Club Testing Legal Limits Again

Today in Alexander County, North Carolina, the Wittenburg Elementary School held a day of fun for their kids called “Field Day.”  From the photos posted on the school’s Facebook page, it looks like the kids had lots of fun outside playing games and eating snow cones.  There’s a problem here though. It appears the snow cones, as well as drinks resembling Kool-Aid (oh the irony), were provided by the predatory fundamentalist Good News Club, who by law, are not to be associating with kids during school hours or at official school functions.  Oops.

This could be one of the clearest and best-documented church-state violations I’ve found involving the Good News Club in elementary schools.  Both the school and the Good News Club should know better than to allow for the advertising of their club during a school function.

Not only did the Good News Club provide the refreshments, but they also had an informational booth designed to generate interest in the club.  In the 34 photos posted by Wittenburg Elementary, I saw no other outside group represented — no booths or information about other clubs, scouts, or other activities were present. I can only assume they weren’t invited.

wittenburg GNC

I’ve reported the violation to both the Freedom From Religion Foundation and Americans United for Separation of Church and State.  I hope they’ll follow up with the school to be sure they’re aware of the Constitutional Law as well as case law that prohibits the intermingling of religious groups with public school children during school hours.

Wittenburg Elementary, if you’re not going to advocate for the safety of children against predatory, psychologically abusive groups like the Good News Club, then I will.  And I hope my readers will too. Feel free to stop by and share your thoughts on the Good News Club and the separation of church and state.


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Kevin Davis

Kevin Davis is the head writer and editor for SecularVoices, co-founder of Young Skeptics, and author of Understanding an Atheist. He is known for local and national secular activism and has spoken at conferences and events such as Reason Rally 2016 and the Ark Encounter Protest and Rally.

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19 thoughts on “Good News Club Testing Legal Limits Again

  1. My son loves this club and the people that do it .they care deeply for these kids .it is a completely voluntary club no-one is made to go there or drink the kool aid.if you don’t like it then don’t participate but do not ruin it for the ones that do believe.

    1. So to hell with the law, right? If the GNC wasn’t breaking the law every chance they got, or not psychologically abusing kids, or not lying to parents on their permission slips, or any of their other violations of human decency, people wouldn’t have such a problem with them. It’s unfortunate that you can excuse their underhanded tactics just because your son “loves the club.” Very often, the abused aren’t aware they’re being abused. As a parent, you should be more concerned with what’s going on in the GNC and protecting your children from them rather than enabling them to do harm.

    2. School is for learning.
      Believing is for churches.
      It’s inappropriate. Completely inappropriate to infest halls of learning with superstitious nonsense.

      Who cares if YOUR kid likes it…what about the children feeling excluded because they’re not part of your herd?

      1. But its okay to have LGBT clubs….?????? You people are crazy and exactly what is wrong with this world! If school is for learning-who are you to decide what someone else wants their child to be learning??!!

        1. But its okay to have LGBT clubs….??????

          You don’t know the law, do you?

          public schools CAN have Christian clubs and LGBT clubs, but they have to be run by students. This is an outside religious group at an official school function.

        2. You want to send your kids to a religious school, fine. You have that option.
          There are, in fact LGBT kids attending secular public schools. Why should they NOT have a club?

  2. Both the school and the Good News Club should know better than to allow for the advertising of their club during a school function.

    The Good News Club certainly knows, and it’s likely school officials know, too. It’s just like the Gideons — they KNOW they’re violating the religious rights of other people’s children, they just don’t care.

    1. The right is to choose to or not too. This club is not held during school hours. If they came out and helped at a field day-I’d say that’s a little ridiculous! I appreciate that they used their money to support a special day for our kids. Each parent gets to choose if their child participates. It’s is in no way forced! This article is from someone who has no idea what they are talking about. Always a good idea to fact check before feeding into something so STUPID!

      1. This club is not held during school hours.

        It’s still an official school function held by the school. “Forcing” isn’t relevant.

      2. In this case, the GNC was present at a school-sponsored activity during school hours, when no other group was invited or represented. They set up a booth to advertise their club to kids. That’s illegal. I absolutely know what I’m talking about. Take your own advice and “fact check” before you comment.

        1. Although I disagree with her comments entirely, I’m going to have to defend her here. As an admin, I can see that her account is not brand new and she’s real. She has other easily-located social media accounts with the same name and is located where this school is. Apparently they don’t teach law anywhere near her though.

  3. Links: “Sorry, this content isn’t available right now.” Gee, I wonder why? Someone caught doing something they shouldn’t be doing.

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