The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 13, 2000


Town counsel advises school regarding Scouts

Superintendent Davida Fox-Melanson reported to the school committee that state law and school policy prohibit discrimination. Therefore, school counsel, attorney Regina Tate, has advised the Carlisle Public School and the affiliates of the school, such as the Carlisle School Association, not to sponsor the activity of the Boy Scouts on the school campus.

However, Tate counsels, a private organization may be allowed to rent the school facilities. "If an organization wants to rent the facilities and it is our policy to rent the facilities to private organizations, we would be in violation of the organization's First Amendment rights to discriminate against it on the basis of its political views or its exercise of free association or free speech." According to this legal advice, if a Scout group applies to use the school facilities as a private organization, the school must allow it.

In a telephone conversation, president of the Carlisle School Association Rich Colman, said the Scouts, previously sponsored by the CSA, are seeking alternative sponsorship so that they may continue programs as a private organization at the school or another site.

2000 The Carlisle Mosquito