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Back to June Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 233 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS JUNE 2005

Excerpts from the Opinion
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Judge Williams's 23-page opinion accompanying his temporary restraining order included the following statements:

"[T]he Court finds irreparable harm to Plaintiffs on the basis of potential restrictions to their First Amendment liberties. . Defendants have presented this Court [with] no evidence as to why the pilot schools could not simply use the original curriculum through the end of this year. .

" 'The clearest command of the Establishment Clause is that one religious denomination cannot be officially preferred over another.' . The Revised Curriculum notes that 'Fundamentalists are more likely to have negative attitudes about gay people than those with other religious views.' The Revised Curriculum also paints certain Christian sects, notably Baptists, which are opposed to homosexuality, as unenlightened and Biblically misguided..

"Most disturbingly, the Revised Curriculum juxtaposes this portrait of an intolerant and Biblically misguided Baptist Church against other, preferred churches, which are more friendly towards the homosexual lifestyle. .

"The Court is extremely disturbed by the willingness of Defendants to venture - or perhaps more correctly bound — into the crossroads of controversy where religion, morality, and homosexuality converge. The Court does not understand why it is necessary, in attempting to achieve the goals of advocating tolerance and providing health-related information, Defendants must offer up their opinion on such controversial topics as whether homosexuality is a sin, whether AIDS is God's judgment on homosexuals, and whether churches that condemn homosexuality are on theologically solid ground. ...

"The wisdom of approving a curriculum which prohibits students from discussing one viewpoint of a controversial subject goes to the very essence of that First Amendment faith."


 
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