Agreement reached after students sue school for not letting them hand out Bibles

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. — Students in central Pennsylvania have won their legal fight with their public high school, and will be allowed to hand out Bibles during lunchtime for now.

Members of a Bible club at Mechanicsburg Area High School contended the school's policy on distributing written materials violated their right to free speech. reported the students are represented by the Independence Law Center lawyers Jeremy Samek and Randall Wenger, who said the district's policy was overly broad.

The school's policy, which banned distribution of all literature - religious or otherwise - during school hours, will now be changed.

Mechanicsburg School District Superintendent Mark Leidy didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.


After taking the Mechanicsburg Area School District to court last month, a federal judge signed off on an agreement between the Christians in Action club and the district, which will allow students to distribute Bibles during lunchtime.

District policy states that students can only distribute nonschool literature on public sidewalks bordering school property 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after the school day. But according to the agreement, the district can't enforce that policy until a new one is put in place.

The club and the district are to work collaboratively to draft a new policy within 45 days of the order, drafted on Thursday.

The agreement applies to the whole district, including elementary, middle and high school handbooks.

The Independence Law Center is an affiliate of the Pennsylvania Family Institute, a conservative Christian nonprofit organization. The lawyers are representing the students for free. Samek released a statement which said: "We're glad that the school has agreed to work with us, in line with the court order, to rewrite their unconstitutional policies and that the students in the Christians in Action club are now free to offer Bibles to classmates in the cafeteria."

The question of freedom of speech, and freedom of religion, is now settled by the courts.

Information from:,, CNN and the Associated Press.