The Center for Law & Religious Freedom

CHRISTIAN LEGAL SOCIETY NEWS RELEASE
May 22, 2012 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:  Kim Colby, Senior Counsel, (703) 894-1087, kcolby@clsnet.org

 

Education and Religious Groups Release Guidelines
Regarding Bullying and Freedom of Expression in Public School

 

Today Christian Legal Society joins a diverse group of religious and education groups, as well as two highly respected academic centers, to release a new publication Harassment, Bullying and Free Expression:  Guidelines for Free and Safe Public Schools.  After months of deliberation, seventeen organizations reached a commendable consensus for protecting freedom of expression while also punishing bullying and harassment.  

The guidelines’ purpose is to assist public school educators in their dual mission of protecting all students from bullying and harassment while simultaneously respecting all students’ legitimate freedom of expression, including religious speech.  These guidelines provide teachers and administrators with balanced, reasonable criteria for protecting our Nation’s commitment to freedom of speech and religious liberty while protecting all students from harmful bullying and harassment. 

“The guidelines offer a valuable tool for teaching students to respect other students’ ideas and values, including religious beliefs, which may differ from their own,” said Kim Colby, senior counsel for the Christian Legal Society.  “Most importantly, the guidelines reinforce the vital cultural and religious pluralism that is essential to our democracy.” 

The remarkable consensus was achieved in large part due to the leadership of Charles Haynes of the Religious Freedom Education Project of the First Amendment Center and Marc Stern of the American Jewish Committee.  “These two organizations have performed a valuable public service with the publication of these guidelines,” noted Ms. Colby.

Besides these two organizations and the Christian Legal Society, other organizations endorsing the guidelines are:  American Association of School Administrators, ASCD, Center for Religion and Public Affairs at the Wake Forest University Divinity School, Christian Educators Association International, Hindu American Foundation, Islamic Networks Group and its Affiliates, Islamic Society of North America, Muslim Public Affairs Council, National Association of Evangelicals, National Association of State Boards of Education, National Council for the Social Studies, National School Boards Association, Religion Action Center of Reform Judaism, and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America. 

The Christian Legal Society is a nationwide association of Christian attorneys, law students, and law professors and can be visited at www.clsnet.org.

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