School district: No link to religious group

SIGNAL FILE PHOTO: Sulphur Springs Union School District Superintendent Catherine Kawaguchi joins board members Ken Chase and Kerry Clegg at a district meeting.
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After a social media post on a community forum garnered more than 100 comments this week, Sulphur Springs Union School District leaders are reassuring parents that the district doesn’t support, oppose or affiliate with local religious groups.

“The Sulphur Springs Union School District is aware of a recent posting on social media criticizing (the) Good News Club,” Superintendent Catherine Kawaguchi said, referring to Tuesday’s Facebook post.

The post contained a picture of a flier that was sent home with a child and offered information about the Good News Club — a ministry of Child Evangelism Fellowship in which trained teachers meet with groups of children in schools, homes, community centers, churches and apartment complexes, according to its website.

One parent commented that the Facebook post was misleading and that Good News Clubs are optional after-school programs, meaning the district can’t discriminate against the organization since it follows the guidelines outlined in the district’s policy.

“The education code allows civic and children’s organizations and other groups to apply for use of district facilities during non-instructional time,” Kawaguchi said. Every nonprofit is treated in the same manner, whether they are affiliated with sports, religion or education.

“The district does not teach religion, and neither supports nor opposes religion in district schools,” Kawaguchi added. “We respect the rights of students to express their beliefs in religion or non-religion,” and the district observes lawful parameters on time, place and manner.

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