A Massachusetts school committee has fulfilled its duty and approved the application of a private Christian school despite controversy when committee members questioned the planned school’s religious beliefs in a way that drew accusations of impermissible hostility to religion.
“We are grateful that Somerville officials recognized that the government cannot ban a religious school because they disagree with its religious beliefs,” Ryan Gardner, counsel for the Texas-based First Liberty Institute religious freedom legal group. “Because of the school board’s decision, more families will be able to provide the education they desire for their children.”
The school application to the Somerville School Committee came from Vida Real Church, whose congregation is predominantly Hispanic and immigrant. In September 2021, the church had sought approval to open a K-8 school, called the Real Life Learning Center.