Friday, July 23, 2010

Reject Christ, Says Univ. to Grad Student

An Augusta State University graduate student is facing dismissal from the university's counseling program unless she silences her convictions on homosexuality and gender identity, according to court documents filed Wednesday.

UPDATE 12/20/11: Federal Court Rules out Christian Beliefs at University

UPDATE 12/6/10: Court battle continues

UPDATE 7/26/10: National counseling code of ethics forbids such Christian faith beliefs

-- From "Christian student sues ASU" by Stephanie Toone, Staff Writer, The Augusta Chronicle 7/22/10

Jennifer Keeton is suing ASU for trying to silence her religious views. Jennifer Keeton, 24, plans to press forward with her lawsuit against the university if she is not allowed to retain her biblical viewpoints and remain a graduate student at ASU, according to the complaint filed by the Alliance Defense Fund. The complaint names ASU President William Bloodworth and professors Mary Jane Anderson-Wiley, Paulette Schenck and Richard Deaner as defendants, according to the documents filed in United States District Court in Augusta.

"Jennifer Keeton has not been accused of mistreating a client," said David French, senior counsel for ADF, a legal alliance that supports religious freedom. "She's being told, 'You must change your beliefs or we'll deny you a degree.' "

Keeton claims that she has voiced her Christian beliefs inside and outside the classroom on homosexuality and other biblical teachings. ASU faculty has ordered her to undergo a remediation plan, which would include diversity sensitivity workshops, she says.

Professors also suggested that she attend Augusta's Gay Pride Parade last month, Keeton told her attorneys. As a part of the plan, she would report back once a month to faculty to determine whether the activities have an impact on her convictions.

The defense fund has handled similar cases the past few years. A Missouri State University social work student filed suit against the university when she was asked to change her views on same-sex adoption, French said. The university later settled. An Eastern Michigan University counseling student filed suit when the university threatened to dismiss her for her religious views. The case is still pending.

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From "'Lose Christianity or face expulsion'" by Bob Unruh © 2010 WorldNetDaily 7/22/10

School officials Mary Jane Anderson-Wiley, Paulette Schenck and Richard Deaner demanded student Jen Keeton, 24, go through a "remediation" program after she asserted homosexuality is a behavioral choice, not a "state of being" as a professor said, according to the complaint.

Also named as defendants in the case that developed in May and June are other administrators and the university system's board of regents.

The remediation program was to include "sensitivity training" on homosexual issues, additional outside study on literature promoting homosexuality and the plan that she attend a "gay pride parade" and report on it.

School spokeswoman Kathy Schose today declined to address the allegations in the case but agreed to discuss the counselor teaching program in general.

She cited the American Counseling Association's code of ethics and said students would be required to adopt its provisions.

"There is a code of ethics that govern counselors," she said. "They have to abide by the code of the profession."

Ethics codes generally govern behavior, and Schose denied the school was attempting to alter any student's beliefs or moral values.

But the lawsuit specifically charges the faculty members targeted Keeton's biblically based belief system and values, not her behavior regarding the treatment of any clients, which had not yet happened.

"Schenck told Miss Keeton that it was unethical for her to believe that her convictions should also be shared by other persons. … Schenck explained that while Miss Keeton was free to have points of view about how she personally should conduct and define herself, she may not believe that others should adopt the standards she personally is convinced are true," the lawsuit said.

"Anderson-Wiley confirmed that Miss Keeton will not be able to successfully complete the remediation plan and thus complete the ASU counseling program unless she commits to affirming the propriety of gay and lesbian relationships if such an opportunity arises in her future professional efforts," it continued.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.