Saturday, August 20, 2011

Idaho School Takes Bible to Supreme Court

A now-defunct Idaho charter that sued the state because it wanted to use the Bible and other religious texts in the classroom has lost an appeal to the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

For background, read Bible Ban by Idaho State Agency Challenged

UPDATE 9/15/11 - Fox News report:

-- From "Idaho charter school loses federal appeal over Bible teaching" by Betsy, The Spokesman Review 8/18/11

The Idaho Constitution out-and-out bans state funding for religious instruction in Article 9, Section 5, and in Article 9, Section 6, states, “No sectarian or religious tenets or doctrines shall ever be taught in the public schools,” and adds, “No books, papers, tracts or documents of a political, sectarian or denominational character shall be used or introduced in any schools established under the provisions of this article.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Idaho charter school loses 9th circuit appeal" by Jessie L. Bonner, Associated Press 8/18/11

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the previous ruling against the now-defunct Nampa Classical Academy, in a decision earlier this week. The Idaho Public Charter School Commission closed the academy last year citing troubled finances.

The speech clause in the First Amendment does not "give Idaho charter school teachers, Idaho charter school students, or the parents of Idaho charter school students a right to have primary religious texts included as part of the school curriculum," the appeals court said.

The U.S. Supreme Court banned ceremonial school Bible readings in a 1963 ruling but said "the Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities" so long as material is "presented objectively as part of a secular program of education." Public schools across the country have traditionally avoided Bible courses — and the potential controversy that surrounds them — but hundreds do offer voluntary classes to students.

The academy argued that the practice goes unchecked elsewhere in Idaho.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "ADF prepared to take Nampa Classical case to Supreme Court" by Idaho Press-Tribune Staff

David Cortman, senior legal counsel with ADF [The Alliance Defense Fund, the organization suing the state of Idaho on behalf of the Academy], said in an email to the Idaho Press-Tribune they are prepared to take the case to the Supreme Court.

“In our opinion, the court failed to perform any meaningful analysis of any issue in the case, including the seminal one: whether there is any educational purpose to ban all religious documents from objective teaching …” Cortman said.

He said the court also ignored the right of local school districts to choose their own texts and curriculum.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.