The San Jose Mercury News has an op-ed on the Cupertino lawsuit that says all of the same things I’ve been saying about this case:
But let’s call the agreement what it was: a total victory by the district over conservative lawyers who drummed up a bogus claim of religious persecution. They had badgered and ridiculed the district to try to push religion into the schools.
The agreement lets fifth-grade teacher Stephen Williams and his attorneys save face; the district, in return, saved taxpayers’ money by not having to further fight a flimsy lawsuit. This week, Williams, who had been reassigned to a middle school, chose to resign from the district.
Williams, an “avowed orthodox” Christian, sued the district and, among others, Patricia Vidmar, his principal at Stevens Creek Elementary School. He said they did not let him create his own lessons on the Founding Fathers’ views on God and religion and on the role of faith in early America. In underwriting his defense, an Arizona-based legal fund, Alliance Defense Fund, threw red meat to the conservative news media with the inflammatory proclamation, “Declaration of Independence Banned From Classroom.”
Nonsense. The Declaration was included in the fifth-grade textbook and is displayed in schools throughout the district. That wasn’t the only distortion in the case. Williams’ materials gave a slanted perspective of history; one book on his list, “Washington’s Prayer Journal,” though popular with religious conservatives, has been proved by historians to be a fake.
The agreement is fine. Williams never had a case.