MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A free-speech lawsuit filed against the Crosby-Ironton School District by two student Bible study group leaders has been settled in favor of the students, their attorney said Friday.
Gary McCaleb, who represents Jonathan Friesner and Katie Hodges, said they decided to drop the lawsuit after the district tied up "a couple loose ends" in a policy the school board adopted in January to protect free speech and student gatherings.
The district adopted that policy after the two students, leaders of the Lunch Bunch, complained that their principal had prevented them from circulating fliers promoting their group, including a See You at the Pole prayer gathering around the school flagpole.
School officials were concerned about the separation of church and state, but federal law says student religious activities are entitled to the same access to public school facilities as secular student activities.
McCaleb, of the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Alliance Defense Fund, said the district also agreed to compensate his group for some of its attorneys fees, though he declined to give the sum as a courtesy to the district. "It's not a huge amount of money," he said.
"The school district did the right and honorable thing by admitting they had a problem, fixing it and moving on," McCaleb said.
Superintendent Linda Lawrie referred questions to the district's attorney, Gloria Olson, who was traveling and did not immediately return a message left with her office.
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