High court won’t consider challenge to S.C. religious classes

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal over a South Carolina program that allows high school students to earn elective credit toward graduation through off-campus religious courses.

The high court today denied the appeal from the Freedom from Religion Foundation.

In July, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court decision in favor of the program, saying Spartanburg District 7 properly accommodated religion without establishing it and acted within the First Amendment.

The 2007 policy allows students to earn up to two credits for off-campus religious courses offered by private educators.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation and the parents of two Spartanburg High students who did not take the course sued in 2009, arguing the release-time policy endorses religion and entangles church and state.

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