For the past 17 years, the Bronx Household of Faith has been pressing its case for allowing religious worship services to be held at public schools. On December 5, 2011, the Supreme Court rejected the small church’s plea yet again. In its ruling, the Supreme Court also left in place a ruling with allows public schools to offer prayer and religious instruction but bans worship services.
“We’re very disappointed,” said Pastor Robert Hall. “We think this is a dangerous precedent that allows the state to make a distinction between various types of religious activity.”
For the past several years, many religious groups in New York have been conducting their worship services in public buildings, including Public School 15, where the Bronx Household of Faith has been worshiping since 2002. However, according to the new action passed by the Supreme Court, this will not be allowed after February 12, 2012.
“We view this as a victory for the city’s schoolchildren and their families,” said Jane Gordon, a senior counsel for the city of New York City. “The department was quite properly concerned about having any school in this diverse city identified with one particular religious belief or practice.”