Williamsburg, VA-The ACLU of Virginia is seeking assurances from Williamsburg school officials that they will not again collaborate with Christian comedians Rick and Mick to promote student attendance at the duo’s religious events. The ACLU has no objection to the Rick and Mick program, but says that public schools, whose students come from many different religious backgrounds, should not be in the business of marketing a Christian event.
Rick and Mick provided predominately secular entertainment for students at Williamsburg-James City County middle and high schools this week, but their website makes it clear that their secular in-school program is merely a warm-up for their religious after-school “Pizza Blast,” where free pizza and soda mix are mixed with Christian proselytizing
Following the secular event yesterday at the Lafayette High School auditorium, officials allowed students to stand outside the auditorium and hand out tickets to the religious event. Other Williamsburg-James City County Schools apparently did the same.
“The ACLU would be the first organization standing in line to protect Rick and Mick’s right to practice and promote their faith,” said ACLU of Virginia executive director Kent Willis, “and no one can stop a school from inviting them to put on non-religious program.”
“But we feel that school officials may have crossed the legal line when they collaborated with Rick and Mick to use the public school system to promote the religious event.”
“It may be that no single action here violates the Constitution, and it may even be that once we sort out all the facts, the school will be able to avoid legal problems,” added Willis. “But school officials knew in advance that Mick and Rick’s purpose was to promote the Christian faith through their non-school program, and they bent over backwards to help them do that.”
The ACLU sent a letter to Lafayette school officials on Wednesday, warning them against allowing Mick and Rick to use the secular event to invite students to the religious event.
The civil liberties group is now composing a Freedom of Information Act Request, asking for all correspondence between the school system and Mick and Rick, and seeking copies of school publications to make certain that the schools complied with all polices regarding use of venue and distribution of materials.

Contact: Kent Willis, Executive Director, ACLU of Virginia, 804-644-8022

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