Learn more so you can discuss the problem with others.
On our Resources page, you’ll find links to Katherine Stewart’s detailed book about the Good News Club, as well as videos, interviews and articles. A great place to start is with this article, which gives a broad overview and describes, from a parent’s point of view, how a Good News Club can impact a school community. Learn what you can do about religious flyers being sent home from school in this article.
Talk to other parents at your school.
Mention our website and share your concerns about the Good News Club. These might include:
- Misleading flyers and permission slips. The Good News Club is not harmless, non-denominational Bible study as its marketing materials suggest. Permission slips fail to mention fundamentalist beliefs and the goal of conversion.
- Predatory proselytizing. The Good News Club tries to convert all children to fundamentalist Christianity, no matter what their parents want or believe.
- Damaging doctrines. The Good News Club’s conversion techniques of shame, fear and submission to authority can harm vulnerable children.
- Faith-based bullying. Students in schools with Good News Clubs are sometimes subjected to pressure to join the Club or harassment about their religious beliefs.
Contact us about problems at your school.
If there’s a potential problem or issue with the Good News Club in your child’s school—preferential treatment, proselytizing by school personnel, or other violations of church and school—you can contact us for help.
Distribute Protect Our Children’s information.
Our downloadable flyers for parents and guidebooks for school administrators make it easy to express your concerns and educate others about the Good News Club. Please distribute them freely. Share this website with other parents, school administrators and concerned citizens.
Talk to your school officials.
Discuss your concerns with the principal, PTA officers, school board members or the district superintendent. Ask them to:
Draw a clear bright line between the school and the Good News Club so children are not confused.
- Prohibit school staff and volunteers from promoting or endorsing your school’s Good News Club while on school property.
- Prohibit all non-school sponsored after-school clubs from using the school’s and PTA’s communication vehicles.
- Prohibit the Good News Club from sponsoring school activities.
- Make sure the Good News Club meetings occur well after the end of the school day so children aren’t misled into thinking that the Club is sponsored by the school.
- For released-time Good News Clubs (where children are released from class during the school day for religious instruction), make sure that meetings take place off-campus and follow other state laws governing released-time religious programs.
Protect children from bullying and intimidation.
- Enforce anti-harassment policies that protect students from aggressive proselytizing and faith-based bullying by their classmates.
- Update school anti-bullying policies if necessary to include intimidation, threats, bullying and harassment by third parties that rent school facilities.
- Make sure that Good News Club meetings are open to parents and the general public so people can see for themselves what’s being taught.
Ask to see the Good News Club curriculum.
Schools have a duty to protect children by screening organizations that rent school facilities. They also have a duty to provide parents with information about the purpose and doctrines of third-party organizations that use the school.
Ask your school officials if they’ve reviewed the curriculum of the Good News Club and if they’ll provide a copy of it for you. Schools generally have the right to see the curriculum of any organization holding events at the school. And parents have the right to see any documents the schools receive.
Attend a Good News Club session or two.
In most cases, as a parent or concerned citizen, you have the right to attend Good News Club classes. Although the harshest teachings are sometimes soft-pedaled when observers are present, you still can watch for troubling teachings and practices to discuss later with school officials. These might include:
- Lessons involving shame, fear, guilt, or submission to the Good News Club’s absolute authority
- Lessons showing disrespect for people of other faiths or no faith
- Lessons showing disrespect for the rights of women and LGBT citizens
- Lessons teaching creationism and disdain for science
- Lessons extolling genocide in the name of religion
- Pressure on children to accept Jesus as their savior and join a local church
- Requests that children raise money for foreign missions or a local church
- Requests that children evangelize their friends, classmates or parents.