The Riverside High School Bible Club no longer has to meet before the school day begins. The club now has permission to meet during regular school hours on club day, a time set aside each month for extracurricular groups.
Until the Greenville County School Board voted to treat the Bible club as any other activity, the Bible study group was allowed to meet in the school cafeteria but not on school time.The reversal came just hours after state Attorney General Charlie Condon issued a nonbinding opinion that the school district's initial ruling was unconstitutional. "The power of God was the only thing that could have seen this through," said Allen Barton, a senior.
State Sen. Mike Fair, R-Greenville, asked Condon to issue an opinion after a team of lawyers backed by evangelist Pat Robertson threatened to sue on the students' behalf.
Restricting the Bible club's meetings violated the Federal Equal Access Act, Condon said, and the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union agreed.