Student Bible clubs in at least two Fairfield County schools have been temporarily suspended after administrators received a complaint that area religious leaders were heading the groups.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a non-profit group that serves as a watchdog over issues involving separation of church and state, sent letters to four school districts regarding Bible studies held in eight high schools, junior high schools and middle schools before class or on lunch breaks.
Such groups violate protections of separation of church and state if they are led or regularly attended by local pastors, claims Ryan Jayne, a legal fellow at the Wisconsin-based foundation.
"Public school districts must ensure that student religious groups are genuinely student-initiated and student-run, and that outside adults do not regularly participate in the clubs," said a letter from the group to Lancaster City Schools Superintendent Steve Wigton.
Similar letters were sent to the Bloom-Carroll Local School District, Fairfield Union Local Schools and Liberty Union-Thurston Local Schools.