A couple new developments in the NCBCPS case in Odessa, Texas. The school board there has elected new officers (not new members). Carol Gregg has replaced Randy Rives as board president and Butch Foreman is the new vice president. Foreman is shaping up to be the Bill Buckingham of this case, a man prone to bombastic statements that will come back to haunt him in court. Gregg, on the other hand, was one of the two board members who voted against the NCBCPS curriculum in 2005.
The school board also voted to send its first official response to the lawsuit, a Rule 68 Offer of Judgment. The article says:
In other business, trustees voted 6-0-1, with trustee Donna Smith abstaining, to submit a Rule 68 offer of judgment to the American Civil Liberties Union in regards to a federal lawsuit the organization filed against the school district on behalf of eight ECISD parents.
The rule states district officials say nothing’s wrong with the Bible curriculum, and the rule encourages the ACLU to settle the case, said Kelly Shackelford, chief counsel for the Liberty Legal Institute, which represents ECISD in the suit.
The ACLU has 10 days to reply to the rule, which will also be sent as a notice to the Western District court in Midland, Shackelford said.
“Maybe we won’t be able to work it out, but at least we’re trying,” Shackelford said.
So essentially they’ve made a settlement offer of some sort. I am trying to get a copy of that settlement offer or at least some confirmation of what the substance of the offer is. I’ll post the details if and when I get them. This really means very little. It’s mostly a procedural tactic to limit liability for legal fees after the case is over. The only thing that could change that analysis is if they actually offered to settle the case by eliminating the class and I can’t imagine they did that (and frankly, I hope that’s not the case; I want this case to happen). They’ve shown no signs of wanting to do anything but fight it out in court, so I doubt they’ll do that.