The issue of religious expression in the school setting is potentially facing another legal test in West Covina, California. The school district is being faced with the threat of a lawsuit from the Advocates for Faith and Freedom (AFF) over the school district’s refusal to allow an elementary school student to distribute candy canes to classmates containing a religious message.
The student, Isaiah Martinez, attempted to hand out candy canes containing a story about the legend of the candy cane, which claims that candy canes were invented to represent the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.
The AFF has sent a letter to the Superintendent of Schools, Debra Kaplan, claiming that the student’s First Amendment rights were violated and demanding that the school district change its policy and issue a written apology. In response, the school district stated that the teacher was simply trying to “maintain an appropriate degree of religious neutrality in the classroom.”
According to the AFF, they will file suit if the school district fails to change its policy and apologize.