Students with a Fellowship of Christian Athletes club in Montana are examining their legal options after being given an ultimatum by the school district to disaffiliate with the national organization over its beliefs on sexuality.
Following complaints made last spring by female students at Bozeman High School about the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ stated beliefs on sexuality, Bozeman Public Schools has reportedly told students in the local club that it would have to disaffiliate with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes or no longer be officially recognized by the school district as an on-campus group, as reported by NBC Montana.
If the group wants to keep its status as an official campus group, it would have to change its name and follow the school district’s policy on inclusion.
In 2008, the school district voted to add “sexual orientation” to its anti-discrimination policy, as reported by The Bozeman Daily Chronicle at the time.
“Young adulthood is a time when you have a lot of questions about yourself, and it’s not the school district’s place to judge one way or the other, because right or wrong isn’t the issue,” Bozeman Schools Superintendent Bob Connors was quoted as saying.
“We want to make sure it’s an inclusive place where every student is treated the same and has the same access to any club or activity, and so the inclusion factor is very important to us.”
FCA is celebrating its 65th anniversary as a sports ministry. It has groups present in high schools and colleges across the country. It also runs sports camps. In Montana, there are at least 30 FCA “Huddle” groups that provide opportunities for athletes and coaches to study and worship.
Montana FCA Director Bob Veroulis assured that FCA does not discriminate and that all students are welcome to attend events.
He told The Christian Post Tuesday that the Bozeman FCA students are not caving under the pressure put on them by the school district and feel the district’s ultimatum is a violation of their First Amendment rights.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith