Each year, Concord High School stages several performances of a “Christmas Spectacular,” which includes many songs celebrating the holiday season performed by various classes and groups from the school’s performing arts department. The event then concludes with a 20-minute live nativity scene and scriptural reading telling the story Jesus Christ’s birth. ACLU of Indiana represents an organization, a student enrolled at the school, and the father of that student and filed a challenge in 2015 to this portion of the Christmas Spectacular as violating the Establishment Clause. A preliminary injunction was granted, although partial summary judgment was granted in favor of the defendants based on a revised program. Partial summary judgment on the remaining issues was then granted in the plantiffs’ favor, and the earlier program was declared unconstitutional and the plaintiffs were awarded their nominal damages. Both parties have appealed to the Seventh Circuit.
Freedom from Religion Foundation v. Concord Community Schools
Gavin M. Rose; Sam Grover and Ryan Payne (Freedom From Religion Foundation); Heather Weaver and Dan Mach (ACLU-National)
November 1, 2015