Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Teacher Calling Genesis 'Superstitious Nonsense' Loses in Court

In what apparently is a first-of-its-kind decision, a federal court has ruled that a California teacher violated the rights of a student by making fun of Christianity. "The Supreme Court's comments with regard to government promotion of religion apply with equal force where the government disapproves of religion," the court ruling said.

UPDATE 8/22/11: A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules in favor of (teacher) Corbett - for another account of the ruling, CLICK HERE

UPDATE 10/23/09: Student may have won case, but must pay $20K legal fees

-- From "Student Wins Suit After Teacher Says Creationism 'Superstitious Nonsense'" Associated Press 5/4/09

U.S. District Judge James Selna issued the ruling Friday after a 16-month legal battle between student Chad Farnan and his former teacher, James Corbett.

The lawsuit cited more than 20 statements made by Corbett during one day of class, all of which were recorded by Farnan, to support allegations of a broader teaching method that "favors irreligion over religion" and made Christian students feel uncomfortable.

. . . Selna ruled Friday that one comment, where Corbett referred to creationism as "religious, superstitious nonsense," did violate Farnan's constitutional rights.

Farnan's family would . . . like to see the school district offer teacher training and monitor Corbett's classroom for future violations, Monk said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Teacher's rant on Christians draws court rebuke" by Bob Unruh © 2009 WorldNetDaily 5/4/09

Teacher James Corbett of Capistrano Valley High School in Mission Viejo already had a reputation for dissing the faithful when Chad Farnan began taking an Advanced Placement European history class from him two years ago.

"We hope that the impact of this will be that teachers will begin to consider whether their comments express disapproval toward religion or hostility toward religion," [said Jennifer Monk] with Advocates for Faith and Freedom, a national non-profit legal organization whose aim is to protect religious liberty in the courts.

The law firm said the court decided to allow many of Corbett's comments, including his statement, "When you put on your Jesus glasses, you can't see the truth."

The case alleged Corbett "spends an extended period of time at the beginning of each class discussing topics that are not only irrelevant to history but also inflammatory and often altogether inappropriate for high school students."

It alleged that Corbett's diatribes caused "students to hold religious beliefs to feel like second-class citizens."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.