PJI defends Chick-fil-A in high school flap

By the Pacific Justice Institute

VENTURA — The opponents of Chick-fil-A have laid another egg. The Ventura High School football booster club was set to sell 200 meals donated by the local Chick-fil-A restaurant at a back-to-school event. These meals were expected to bring in $1,600 to support the football players. Their plans, however, were met with a cluck by the principal who banned the donation from the event.

Ventura High School Principal Val Wyatt noted as part of her opposition to Chick-fil-A that, “With their political stance on gay rights and because the students of Ventura High School and their parents would be at the event, I didn’t want them on campus.”

Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, commented, “Taxpayer-funded public schools have no business going on a witch hunt against benevolent businesses simply because one of its managers was quoted as supporting natural marriage.

Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute

” He continued, “Overt actions by government to isolate and punish business owners who express their moral beliefs is an outrageous violation of public trust.”

PJI staff attorney Matthew McReynolds sent a letter to the principal on Sept. 17 informing her of the legal obligations a school has to not discriminate. Citing the California Unruh Civil Rights Act, McReynolds noted that strict adherence is required not just by businesses, but by schools too.

The letter further noted the free speech rights of corporations, as well as the religious freedom rights of their executives.

Alluding to the irony of banning an organization with supposed diverse views from a school event, one person insightfully commented on PJI’s Facebook page, “So they are going to kick out all the conservative students as well?”

PJI has reached out to members of the booster club offering free legal representation. PJI hopes to ensure that tolerance at the school returns to a two-way – and not a one-way – road.

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