Christian 'Candy Cane' Case Turns Bitter, Supreme Court Refuses to Review
By Grace Oshiro - Crossmap On June 13, 2012
The "Christian candy cane” case turned bitter when the the Supreme Court refused on Monday to hear oral arguments on the case where a Texas school allegedly deprived students of their freedom of religious expression.
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The Supreme Court decided not hear arguments for Morgan v. Swanson case, which dates back to 2003, when school principals in the Plano Independent School District prevented evangelical students from distributing Christian literature on school grounds.
In one instance, third-grader Jonathan Morgan was prevented by principal Lynn Swanson from distributing a Christian-themed bookmark at a winter break party, according to The Washington Post. The boy wanted to give out candy-cane shaped pens together with a card purporting to explain the Christian origins of holiday treats.
“So, every time you see a candy cane, remember the message of the candy maker: Jesus is the Christ!” reads the card.
The "candy cane" case was brought to the courts when several Plano parents sued the school district.
During the legal battle, Plano changed its policy on student expression to allow for the passing out of religious materials at certain times and places, according to The Christian Post.
It was disappointing to learn of the Supreme Court's refusal, said Hiram Sasser , Director of Litigation of Liberty Institute which had represented the plaintiffs.
"No student should be subjected to religious discrimination by the government," said Sasser.
"We were hoping to finally put this issue to rest: that government school officials should be held accountable when they violate the law and students' First Amendment rights."
The Supreme Court did not specify any reason for refusing to hear the case and rarely do, Sasser told The Christian Post.
"They almost never say why they are not reviewing case. They only review 70 or so a year out of 8,000 requests."
He added, "Someday, we need the Supreme Court to stand up and bring an end to this sort of religious discrimination."