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Wanted: Sponsor For Christian Club

May 1, 1985

HOUSTON (AP) _ A group of high school students who won a federal court ruling that their religious club may meet on campus must overcome one more hurdle - choosing a teacher-sponsor.

″We’ve found two teachers who would be willing to act as monitors. We’ve just have to decide which one we want,″ said Tony Amidei, 18, who originally filed the suit.

Amidei had planned the group’s first meeting on school grounds Tuesday night and expected about 20 students. But the meeting was postponed a week so the group could organize, he said.

School policy requires every student organization to have a teacher- sponsor, said Mary Kay Coleman, spokeswoman for the Spring Branch Independent School District.

Amidei, a senior at Westchester High School, sued the district in November after administrators denied the studuent group’s request for a club room.

Six other students from Westchester and Spring Woods High School, both in the Houston area, joined the lawsuit and the U.S. Justice Department intervened in the case.

U.S. District Judge Norman Black last week ordered the two high schools to permit the Christian Club to meet on campus, upholding the controversial Equal Access Act passed by Congress last year.

The club, said Amidei, is a ″small group of students who have a common interest in Christianity and the life and teachings of Jesus Christ to meet once a week for one hour to discuss common experiences.″

District Superintendent Henry Wheeler said the school district would comply with Black’s order.

The law prohibits school districts from denying access to students who want to meet on school property just because of religious, political or philosophical purposes.

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