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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Actually Egan, I don't think any day cares should be allowed to solicit clients at a public school.  But regardless of that, how do you follow that it is OK for religious day cares to advertise in a public school setting.  In the US, public schools are supposed to be secular, and are not allowed to favor any religion over another.  In fact, they are not allowed to pray.  By the way you spell "programme" I think it may be that you are British, where there is a national religion.  There is no national religion in the US, and the US constitution is very clear in separating the church and state. 


i'm canadian, actually.


separation doesn't mean banishment. i think advertising for a day care in any place where parents get together makes perfect sense, and if you exclude one on a religious basis, that is inappropriate morally and likely against US law. if it's not being specially promoted, is not being made a requirement, and nothing else is being excluded, there is no violation of church/state separation.

Ah, Canadian.  Thanks, and sorry mislabeling you.  You bring up very good points.  Personally, I think a public school should be free of any product advertising.  Unfortunately, here in the US, that is not always the case.  Big companies, like Pepsi and Coke, outbid each other to get sole access to pump their crap to our kids at school. Same with fast food chains.  It's a sorry state of affairs, and the reason my daughter goes to school with a lunch box (and no money).  The idea that a christian school, or day care, can come in and advertise in a public school is as equally horrifying to me (and I don't get horrified easily).  It's just not the place.  They should advertise at their church, or send flyers to mailing addresses (as I've received).  But a public school should not be a marketing venue.  Not for Coke.  Not for Pepsi.  And most certainly, not for any religion.


but they're not advertising a religion. they're advertising a day care service. it is very much relevant, and most of the parents probably appreciate that a daycare service would be allowed to advertise to them in such a relevant setting. it would be like having a flyer posted on a bulletin board in the paediatrics ward of a hospital. now, if somebody were handing out flyers for baby gap or something, that might be a bit much, but come on, it's a day care service.
Lots of things are services. My dry cleaner offers a service, as does my exterminator, the mechanic where I get my car fixed, the company I use for home maintenance, etc. I am not sure what being a service has to do with anything.

I don't know that day cares are offering a service any more than any other business that operates because it does something people need. Many businesses do that; that's how they make a profit.

Also, one could argue that baby gap is as much of a service as day care. Clothes are a necessity. Pennsylvania doesn't charge sales tax on clothes because they are considered a necessity.

Now, there might be a line of distinction between a day care and baby gap. But I couldn't tell you where the line is. Seems gray and murky to me.
i think it's appropriate for any business that has to do with child care to advertise on the premises of any government service related to child care, it makes good sense and is probably very much appreciated by many parents. that some of them will be religious is simply a thing you have to put up with. but if they get pushy, give them hell.

All businesses? So, you are OK with Baby Gap advising at a school? It's not too much after all? 

What about Bible schools and religious camps? 


Beauty pageants that exploit (one could argue) young girls?


I don't know. Mixing business advertising with government not only can give the appearance of promoting a particular thing, it is also breeding ground for kick backs, favoritism for products in which they are financially invested, etc.


Also, if kids see the advertising it is just one more pressure on some families who cannot afford certain things. 

Like I said, business advertising in schools may not be illegal but it doesn't seem like a good idea to me. I don't like it in general. I really don't like it when it pushes a religious or political agenda.

i don't think any business that offers products or services for children qualifies as child care. but day care centres, summer camps, after-school programmes, i think these qualify and should be allowed, no matter what ideologies they may be bundled with, as long as they are not mandatory, no favouritism is taking place, and the school is not profiting from it.
OK what about Bible school? That's free and they take your kids off your hands for a whole week. Should schools, in your opinion, advertise them?

There are all sorts of ways schools get money from "advertising".  Businesses buy ad space in year books, buy banners or score board space for athletic fields, sponsor parent education activities, sponsor sports teams or music programs, sponsor coupon books, offer good grade rewards.  Yes - mechanics, dry cleaners, exterminators, pizza parlors.  All of these are ways that the school makes money to supplement our children's education.  That is not the type of situation with the flyer.


Certain programs geared toward children distribute flyers in elementary schools.  Personally, I don't take issue with the religious organizations being in the mix.  They are not offering their services as part of the school curriculum...that would be a non-seperation of church and state.  They are offering programs for school-age children outside of school that many parents would like for their children to be a part of. 


Where I live, that is almost ALL programs for school-age children.  After school care, karate, cheerleading, swimming, dance, nature studies and many more are offered at the YMCA.  Those that are available elsewhere are easily twice the price. As a (strong) Atheist parent who's had elementary aged children for 16 years, I am glad to get the flyer and have often sent my kids to the YMCA. 


Most of the really great summer camps are church sponsored.  Some are heavily laden with religious propaganda.  Some are not.  There ARE religious people out there who want to offer services to children sans indoctrination.  The offering of the service is their mission outreach - to help children and families, but the service itself may be secular (or mostly secular). 


I am not saying that is the case with the daycare.  I am just trying to point out that not everything to do with the religious in radioactive and immediately deserving of the fury of the anti-theist.


I used to be sensitive to every little religious thing that came in my children's path.  After a while I realized that I was being as dogmatic and closed minded as the fundies. I did not like that.


We live as minorities in a predominately religious culture.  My children ARE going to be exposed to it; they can't live in a bubble.   We talk about it.  Sometimes we laugh about it.  In the end, they come home everyday to a good ol' reason-lovin', heathen home.

It seemed "specially promoted" to me when a woman came up to every parent and told them about their program while handing out flyers.

If the place wants to recruit near the school, I say buy a billboard sign right outside of the school (off school grounds). Or the woman could pass out flyers on the street before the parents go into the school. I just don't think they should be recruiting in a government building.

I am not a lawyer, so I don't know if it is legal in the US. It very well may be. But it feels wrong to me. It may not break the letter of the law, but it feels like it breaks the spirit of the law.

I'm with ya!





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