Is this legal? Passing out Christian Daycare brochures at open house public school

I just went to my daughter's Kindergarten open house today. There was a woman from a Church daycare passing out flyers to all the parents. I told her that we wouldn't be going because I didn't want my daughter indoctrinated with that. She was nice and understood. I did, however, take a flyer because I wanted to be able to refer to it when I complained.

I complained to the classroom teacher. She was surprised but wasn't sure if it was legal or not. She referred me to the principal. I plan to talk with her next.

I don't know if it is illegal or just inappropriate. I plan to complain either way. However, I would like to know if it actually breaks the law. Does anyone know?

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That sounds like a great idea!  Test them indeed, but even better, get the word of Camp Quest out there.

We don't have any Muslim or Atheist or any other group that I think would truly test them, let alone a daycare. We have VERY few non-christians in our area. But I do know a secular daycare has to jump through hoops to advertise in the school. And the classroom teacher said she is not allowed to pass out any flyers for religious organizations. 


To me it seems inappropriate because it is like they are endorsing it - especially if they didn't have to jump through the same hoops as everyone else. I need to do more research though.


Camp Quest. I like the idea, and I might try it (depending on what I learn about the flyer distribution policy) but from my understanding, Camp Quest is not specially an atheist organization. I heard a spokesperson discuss the camp and she said that they teach about science and critical thinking but they don't tell them that religion is wrong or anything like that. She said they have many religious campers. It seemed that way from looking at their website too. I don't know a whole lot about Camp Quest, but it seems to me that it is secular. 

That's awful that your child's name and info was released to an organization like that. By law parents can have their name and address withheld from any release. It is federal law. You have to request it in writing and renew it each year. The school I worked for had a form they sent home each year for it. Colleges must comply with that too (but then it is the student completing it, not the parent). 

In another forum somewhere on Atheist Nexus a dad (I think- it could've been a mom) was saying that the boy scouts were doing a presentation at his daughter's school. He said that he got the ACLU involved and the school to stop it. He said that the boy scouts has something in their mission statement (I think that was where it was) that stated they promoted belief in god. I don't know the details (and I've obviously forgotten quite a bit) but it may not be OK for boy scouts to recruit in school either. Now, in that case school may have been in session?

I know that organizations can rent space in the school too outside of school hours. Our high school has a church in it Sundays. According to the FFRF sometimes schools don't charge them rent or charge a reduced rent b/c it's a church. They say that it is illegal for them to get special treatment. It wouldn't shock me if our high school did that too. But I don't have any facts on it. I just wouldn't find it surprising. The high school has tons of signs on the school grounds (that are up all of the time) advertising the church. It seems inappropriate to me too.
I am not nearly as bothered as if they had approached my daughter. You are right about that. It is more the idea of it. If they do this, how do I know they won't take it farther? It seems like they have a bias. I want to make sure nothing else happens.

(I may be overly sensitive because this is the same school that 12 years ago had an assembly where the speaker told the kids that they need to get saved and they asked the kids to come up and do it. We were Christian at the time but it still seemed wrong. My husband talked to the superintendent. He only attended that school one year though so we don't know what ultimately happened.)
you do for sure have every right to decline and to clearly and politely state your reasons for doing so, and to complain if they get pushy about it. they need to be made to understand that there are people who do NOT appreciate their children being subjected to religious teachings. be polite, but clear and firm.

Egan - I can't get it to reply to our part in this threat at all. 


But I don't see why they need to advertise any day care or camp. Maybe if there is a clear educational purpose- then maybe. But even still, I am not sure about it because it could get murky - especially if you allow for-profit organizations do it. There are A LOT of poor families in my area. I'm all for capitalism and trying to make a profit, but I think it should be separate from school. Unless we privatize school, then it seems that we should keep control over that sort of thing. It seems to me that the reason we don't privatize school in the US is because we want to have control over what our kids are being taught in school. 


this site's system is weird, it only allows a certain number of replies.


in our society, education is not the primary function of school, it's function is to take children off parents' hands for a few hours. day cares and summer camps serve the same function. if we had an education system that actually did some educating, you might have a point. then again, educated children wouldn't be susceptible to advertising anyway.

LOL -funny, but sad commentary. I hope the school function of the school is not THAT bad.

But I think the big difference is that public schools are funded by tax dollars... most summer camps and day care centers are not.  We have a new system here (in Florida) that offers free VPK (voluntary pre-kindergarten).  Parents can now enroll their children in pre-schools and instead of paying tuition, it is paid for by tax payers.  I need to look at see if any religious pre-schools are part of the VPK system.  I am sure there are some.


Skepticmom- Are you going to talk to the principal today?  If so, I hope it goes well!

Annie - thanks. I am first going to call the day care and see what religious stuff they do and teach. Someone suggested that and it seemed like a good idea. 


I am curious to know if religious schools are part of your new system. 


I will probably just send an email first once I get my thoughts together. Maybe to the principal and copy the new superintendent. ?? I will probably ask some questions (like what is the policy and process for a business to hand out flyers, etc.) and let them know that I was surprised to have been approached inside the school and see what they say. 


I am a little more calm today. Right now, I am thinking that I want them to be more conscious of their actions and to make sure they think them through. And to make sure they are aware that not everyone in the county is Christian or appreciates Christian messages.


Thank you! 



All right.  I just looked it up.  The first VPK provider I found in the yellow pages is a Lutheran school.  This is their home page:  and I see that as a violation between church and state.  Of course, our state has been trying to get a voucher program in place for years... which would allow parents to put their kids in private schools (including religious ones) and take the tax money with them for tuition.  


I think your tactic sounds good, but you may want to rethink the idea of CCing it to the superintendent.  I don't know the principal, but he or she may see this as you going over their heads.  My biggest concern would be for the fair treatment and wellbeing of your daughter. 


Also (and I'm just sharing ideas... hope it doesn't sound like I'm trying to tell you what to do), I would sit down and wonder what I hope to accomplish.  If your main goal is to get them to no longer allow outside advertisements, I might even drop that it was a religious thing.  To go in as a concerned parent, not wanting to be bombarded with advertising at a school, will probably get more people on board with you (including religious folks). 


I would be very surprised if the school didn't know the woman was there.  On the campus I teach at, we have to have a lockdown if there is an unidentified person on campus, and the campus is located in a very safe are.  This is a requirement for accreditation, and most schools have similar policies.


I'll be curious to hear what they teach at the preschool... and now I have to decide if I want to make a stink about the VPK issue here...

Thank you everyone for your advice and input. It's been really helpful.




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