Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Cupertino Lawsuit Withdrawn

Steven Williams’ fraudulent lawsuit against the Cupertino public schools has been withdrawn and is over. I wrote time and time again that this case, brought on behalf of Williams by the Alliance Defense Fund, was completely ridiculous. The ADF had been incredibly dishonest in their representation of the facts. Now they have apparently come to their senses and dropped the false accusations. You can see the official settlement here. The “settlement” is actually an admission that the suit was false, since it recognizes that the current district policy allows teachers to use supplemental material of a religious nature as long as it is “objective, age appropriate and in compliance with the curriculum prescribed by the district” and that the administration has the final say on what materials meet that standard.

The amusing thing is that the ADF is actually spinning this as a victory! Their press release on the settlement says:

“We are pleased that this matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of all parties,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Kevin Theriot. “The school district is to be commended for agreeing that their policy allows teachers, no matter what their religious beliefs, to use handouts of historical significance that have religious content, like the Declaration of Independence.”

But a mere paragraph later the same press release admits that this was already the policy of the school district:

The settlement agreement puts in writing district policy that “allows teachers, no matter what their religious beliefs, to use appropriate educational material (including supplemental handouts of historical significance) during instructional time that has religious content” and also allows teachers “to teach students during instructional time about matters involving religion” so long as the content is compliant with district-prescribed curriculum and is not used to influence a student’s religious beliefs.

This was the school’s policy before this happened and it’s the school’s policy now. But the settlement also agrees that the administration has the final say in deciding when this standard is met, which means Williams won absolutely nothing in this case. The materials he used, which were literally filled with false claims and distortions, still are disallowed because they fail to meet the above standard. The ADF began this process by lying about the school’s policy with their first press release declaring that the Declaration of Independence had been “banned from (the) classroom” and they’re lying with their press release now. The only thing this settlement did for Williams was prevent him from being countersued for bring a lawsuit that was clearly frivolous.

Comments

  1. #1 raj
    August 16, 2005

    I wonder whether the Alliance defence fund will be reimbursing the school district for the atty fees in view of the obvious asmission that the suit was frivolous.

  2. #2 Ed Brayton
    August 16, 2005

    raj wrote:

    I wonder whether the Alliance defence fund will be reimbursing the school district for the atty fees in view of the obvious asmission that the suit was frivolous.

    No, the settlement agreement says that each side is responsible for paying their own legal fees and that neither one can take any further action either on the merits of the case or the fees. And that, I would guess, is the only thing that Williams won in this case.

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