Kansas School District Sued After Middle School Student Banned From Posting Bible Verses

KRflierKANSAS CITY, Kan. — A Kansas school district has been leveled with a lawsuit after officials at a local middle school allegedly prohibited a student from posting flyers because of their Biblical content.

The Christian legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) announced the lawsuit on Monday, which it filed on behalf of a seventh grade student at Robert E. Clark Middle School in Bonner Springs. The student, a female, is only being referred to as K.R. because she is a minor.

According to the complaint filed in federal court, K.R. had sought to post the flyers at the school this past September, which featured handwritten Bible verses such as John 3:16 and Romans 5:8. The Scriptural posters were meant to serve as a precursor to the annual prayer event “See You at the Pole,” which she hoped to promote with separate flyers later.

She posted a few flyers around the school without issue—that is, until she was confronted by a school counselor at a student dance.

“While standing around talking with several of her friends, K.R. was confronted by Ms. Chellie Bonebrake, a counselor at Clark Middle School,” the complaint explains. “Ms. Bonebrake forcefully told K.R. that the flyers K.R. had posted at the school were ‘illegal’ because they were a violation of the separation of church and state.”

Bonebrake consequently told the student that the flyers could not be posted on the walls or distributed to her classmates. All of K.R.’s homemade flyers were reportedly taken down by school officials that day and destroyed.

As a result, the student feared what would happen if she were to create and distribute flyers for See You at the Pole. She printed just a few handouts and gave them to her close friends in secret.

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ADF states that because K.R. was afraid to promote the event because of the warning from Bonebrake, very few students joined her for See You at the Pole. The organization says that the student would like to invite her classmates to other events, but feels that she is being prevented from doing so.

District policy prohibits the distribution of “religious materials … on school grounds or in any attendance facility before, during, or after the school day or a school activity.” However, students may freely advertise or share information about secular topics.

ADF notes that other posters at the school were not censored, such as those that promoted school dances, and a poster of rapper Lil’ Wayne that read “Good kush and alcohol” was not disturbed.

“Public schools should encourage, not shut down, the free exchange of ideas,” ADF Legal Counsel Matt Sharp said in a news release about the matter. “The law on this is extremely clear: school policies cannot target religious speech for exclusion. The First Amendment protects freedom of speech for all students, regardless of their religious or political beliefs.”

“Marginalizing students of faith removes an important influence for good from the school community,” added Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “We hope the school district will revise its policy so that students can exercise their constitutionally protected freedoms.”

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  • Lindy Jones

    This is terrible! I am appalled at the way American education limits actual education! Education isn’t about mathematics or English. It’s about life and the people we walk it with. As a Christian I still see it as detrimental to my kids development to know about other religions and cultural backgrounds. How limiting when CHILDREN are being shut down where it comes to sharing who they are and what they believe! So very sad.

  • Laurie

    Good for her for standing up for what she believes in!!

  • According to Atheists, there is no God. Therefore the big Bang theory explains how creation occurred. Or, as the Catholics state; Factum ex Nihilo! Evolutionists on the other hand believe that we have all evolved from the Ape. We are possibly an advanced form of the orangutan. That is it surely. Doesn’t Genesis say that God made man in his own image and likeness. Then indeed God himself must be, according to evolutionists, and orangutan. If you want my opinion, please read; http://www.Kiernan.blog.com/?p=77

  • WorldGoneCrazy

    This is a very brave young lady – who is taking the Great Commission seriously. She is going strongly against the grain in the atheistic government schools, and should be commended for it. Her posters are quite beautiful, IMO. Good show, K.R.!!! May God Bless you mightily!

  • Brian Devon

    This little girl’s parents have every right to teach her their religious beliefs. Your constitution and your neighbors pretty much support them in that endeavor. They also have every right (and probably should exercise it) to send her to a private religious school. Millions of Christians, Jews, Muslims, atheists and agnostics have no problem with that. What most of us don’t want however is to be subject to proselytising in the public square or the public schools. Why don’t they just enroll her in a Christian Day School? I am Jewish. My parents sent my sister (not me) to a Jewish day school. They never dreamed it was the public school’s task to instill religious values. This is not a Christian nation…nor a Jewish one…nor Muslim, nor Buddhist nor atheist nor agnostic. The constitution makes it very clear that the public and private spheres are not one and the same. Why should this family paddle “upstream”, when there is a very easy stream, that is quite legal and will take them where they want to go?

  • Pleas contact the scool and express your concern for what Ms Bonebreak did. To tell a child the gospel is illegal? This is not china.