WILMINGTON, N.C. — Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund today filed a motion for preliminary injunction on behalf of a North Carolina student banned from wearing a religious T-shirt and distributing message cards. Benjamin Arthurs, a student at Midway High School, was suspended for promoting the annual Day of Truth, which occurred on April 27 this year. ADF is also challenging a school policy which prohibits students from distributing literature of any kind.
“Christian students are entitled to the same free speech rights as non-religious classmates,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel David Cortman. “Students participating in the Day of Silence, which supports the homosexual agenda, were permitted to observe the event by distributing flyers and remaining silent throughout the school day. Yet a student who expressed an opposite perspective during non-instructional time received punishment. This is a classic case of viewpoint discrimination.”
Prior to filing suit, ADF attorneys sent a letter to school and district officials, noting a violation of Ben’s constitutional rights and the discrepancy between officials’ treatment of Christian and non-Christian students.
Sampson County Board of Education Superintendent Stewart Hobbs responded that religious attire, including Benjamin Arthurs’ Day of Truth shirt, was prohibited. Hobbs further stated that distribution of religious literature was also barred because Arthurs would be “pushing his religion on others” and “religion is not allowed in school.” However, Midway High School’s dress code does not address religious clothing.
The Day of Truth, which presents a different viewpoint on homosexual behavior, is held on the day after the Day of Silence. The Day of Silence event, promoted by the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network, encourages students to remain silent throughout an entire day to express their support for the homosexual agenda.
A copy of the complaint filed in Arthurs v. Sampson County Board of Education can be read here. A copy of the motion for preliminary injunction is available here.
ADF is a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and litigation.