Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Cupertino Lawsuit Update

As a follow up on the last story, I don’t know how I missed this when it happened: the judge in Steven Williams’ lawsuit against the Cupertino school district has dismissed 3 of the 4 complaints in the lawsuit.

In a hearing at the U.S. District Court in San Jose March 30, Judge James Ware dismissed three of four allegations made by Stephen Williams. Williams had claimed school district personnel violated his freedom of speech, had a vague policy on supplemental materials in the classroom and infringed on his right to religious expression.

“I am not aware of any right that allows religious expression in the classroom,” said Ware in dismissing the three claims.

However, Ware did say he would further consider Williams’ allegation that the school district treated him differently because of his Christian faith.

The only charge left is an equal protection charge, but I can’t imagine that will succeed given that the basis for such a charge has been dismissed. If the school was correct in preventing Williams from handing out the supplemental materials (and they were, those handouts were not only full of attempts to proselytize but also full of inaccuracies), there’s really no case for him being treated differently. Almost every other teacher at that school is Christian and so are most of the parents, so the notion that the school is just discriminating against Christians is simply absurd. What distinguishes him from the other Christian teachers at the school is that they understand that their position should not be abused to bring their religious views into the classroom, and they don’t hand out materials riddled with false quotations and fraudulent documents. Those facts alone justify the oversight.

Comments

  1. #1 Uber
    May 12, 2005

    See Ed you still don’t get it, Christianity is the ‘in’ club. Get any 100 christians together ask them ten questions and you will never get them to agree on all 10 answers. It’s an amorphous mess that is essentially a social mechanism.

    Whether one buys into the supernatural aspects of it is hardly the point anymore. This fellow likely feels he is the one ‘true’ christian on campus and the others are not.

    Everyone around here, well most, call themselves Christian, then enjoy the wide range human activities available to them.

  2. #2 spyder
    May 12, 2005

    It is interesting that the matter was referred straight to federal district court, where the due process under equal protection issue could at least be determined. It seems that Williams legal team were unwilling to pursue the issues in the local County Superior Court, where the judges are elected and where many of the substantive constituency also resides. He certainly is not receiving legal support from his teachers’ association representatives, as they are not allowed under the bylaws to take cases to Federal Court.

  3. #3 raj
    May 15, 2005

    There was an equal protection count in the complaint? Oh, please, this is ludicrous. When he’s in front of a classroom, he’s an agent of the school board (i.e., the state). There’s no equal protection issue.