Westside Community Schools Case Study

660 Words3 Pages
Gisselle Zepeda
Mr. Lievre
American Government
Credit 5

Board of Education of Westside Community Schools Versus Mergens The Equal Access Act upheld by the Supreme Court in Board of Education v. Mergens, 1990, requires public secondary schools to allow access to religiously based student groups on the same basis as other student clubs. The school administration denied a group of students their right to create a Christian after school club. The students intended for their club to have just the same privileges and club meetings as all other after school clubs. The schools excuse being that it lacked faculty support which led to the school and district being sued by the students. “The students alleged that Westside 's refusal violated the Equal Access Act, which requires that schools in receipt of federal funds provide "equal access" to student groups seeking to express "religious, political, philosophical, or other content" messages” (Board of Education of Westside Community Schools v. Mergens by and Through Mergens). Many still argue today that Westside 's prohibition against the Christian club, consistent with the Establishment Clause, makes the Equal Access Act unconstitutional.
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In distinguishing between "curriculum" and "non-curriculum student groups," the Court stated that since Westside permitted other noncurricular clubs, it was prohibited under the Equal Access Act from denying equal access to any after-school club based on the content of its speech. It was constitutional because it served an overriding purpose by prohibiting discrimination.
I, personally believe that If the supreme court did nothing about this issue, it would lead to even bigger controversy being that a certain group was denied its rights as Americans to have A) Their freedom of speech, B) their right to for a non-curriculum club, and C) Their right to practice religion. Now that would be unconstitutional more than anything else. It would be breaking the constitution in more than one
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