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According to the Equal Access Act (EAA), secondary schools receiving federal funds must allow noninstructional-related groups equal access to their facilities for meetings before and after school or during noninstructional periods of the day. The EAA was intended to open school facilities to religiously oriented groups, which had previously been barred from using facilities under constitutional prohibitions on the involvement of government in religion. It has also been used by other groups, especially gay and lesbian organizations, which had previously been barred from school grounds. Schools that do not receive federal funds or that bar all noncurriculum-related meetings remain unaffected by the act. This entry discusses the EAA's background and implications.

Legal Background

Congress enacted the EAA in 1984, with broad bipartisan support. Enforcement of the EAA ...

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