US appeals court OKs church invites at Monroe County school

Published: Mar 12 2013 05:07:27 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 13 2013 06:27:03 AM EDT
PHILADELPHIA -

A federal appeals court has ruled that a fifth-grader in Monroe County can distribute invitations to a church Christmas party at her public elementary school.

The court Tuesday said there's no evidence the flyers would prove ``disruptive'' at school. That's the Supreme Court standard for most free speech cases involving students.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court in Philadelphia admits the law is still evolving when it comes to elementary school students.

The court has previously said a preschooler could not distribute pencils promoting a Christian message to classmates.

In the latest case, the church flyer advertised a 2010 Christmas party at Innovation Church in Mt. Pocono, with face painting, music and games.

The court notes that the Pocono Mountain School District lets students bring home flyers about other non-school events.

The ruling upholds a preliminary decision by a lower court.