Monday, March 22, 2010

Schools OK to Discriminate Against Christians: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to let a high school student sue over school officials' refusal to let her play an instrumental version of "Ave Maria" at her graduation . . .

-- From "Supreme Court rejects student's appeal over ban on playing of 'Ave Maria' at graduation" by Jesse J. Holland, Associated Press Writer 3/22/10

The high court on Monday refused to hear an appeal from Kathryn Nurre, a former student at Henry M. Jackson High School. Nurre, who was a senior in 2006, wanted to play "Ave Maria" — Hail Mary in Latin — with the band's wind ensemble at the graduation.

Administrators raised red flags at the Everett, Wash., school when they heard about the idea from the wind ensemble seniors, who had played Franz Biebl's uptempo 1964 rendering of "Ave Maria" without controversy at a winter concert.

A year before, choral performance of the song "Up Above My Head" at the 2005 commencement drew complaints and protest letters to the town's newspaper. Therefore, school officials said the seniors could not play the song since the title alone identified "Ave Maria" as religious and that graduation should be strictly secular.

Nurre sued, claiming unspecified damages from infringement of First Amendment rights. The federal courts threw out the lawsuit, with judges saying it was reasonable for a school official to prohibit the performance of an obviously religious piece.

The case is Nurre v. Whitehead, 09-671.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Alito: Court Wrong to Deny ‘Ave Maria’ Case" by Lee Ross, posted at FOX News 3/22/10

Justice [Samuel] Alito announced his disagreement with the high court's decision to stay out of the case by writing the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision "is not easy to square with our free speech jurisprudence."

Alito was sharply critical of the school officials and their decision. He said that when the school gives students the opportunity to express themselves they must respect the students' right to free speech. "School administrators may not behave like puppet masters who create the illusion that students are engaging in personal expression when in fact the school administration is pulling the strings," Alito wrote.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.