Monday, June 7, 2010

Contempt of Court or Contempt For God: Now The Teachers Sue

UPDATE IX: Pace High's Class of 2010 has been the center of the prayer disputes, with several members of the class now suing the school district. Well Saturday, "stormy weather forced [the graduation] ceremony indoors, but [the] gym wasn't big enough for everyone," causing a near riot by parents left out. Read the Pensacola News Journal, Parents upset over Pace graduation chaos.

Was it God's retribution?

UPDATE VIII: "In attempts to vacate the [original] agreement, Christian Educators and attorneys from the Christian law group Liberty Counsel argued that the consent decree is dubious because the students have graduated from Pace High School." The Court denied the motion. Read the Pensacola News Journal, Prayer challenge shot down by federal judge.

UPDATE VII: More proof that the latest Liberty Counsel lawsuit is frivolous. Last year, "seeking to avoid additional “protracted litigation” over prayer in Santa Rosa County schools, the American Civil Liberties Union made an offer to the pro-school prayer Liberty Counsel.

The ACLU offered to allow the Liberty Counsel to help reshape a federal consent decree under which the school district is operating." Read the Santa Rosa Press Gazette, ACLU made earlier overture to Liberty Counsel.

And read the letter.

Liberty Counsel refused. And money that could be better spent on education will now be wasted as the Liberty Counsel grandstands.

UPDATE VI: Let's form a group of Friend of the Santa Rosa School Board, intervene in the lawsuit, and move for sanctions!

First step, create a webpage to organize the friends.

UPDATE V: After a quick review of the 90+ page complaint, it appears to be based on exaggeration or fabrication.

Compare each factual allegation to Exhibit C, the SRCSD's Technical Assistance Paper: Frequently Asked Question regarding The First Amendment in Santa Rosa County Schools. That document seems to be a reasonable well thought out effort to remedy the problems that were the basis of the original lawsuit.

If that be the case, the Court should sanction Liberty Counsel, and the appropriate individual plaintiffs.

UPDATE IV: The teachers sue, part II. Read the Pensacola, News Journal, Group sues School Board over prayer decree. Here is the complaint:

Liberty Counsel v. SRCSD, Complaint

I haven't read the it, but if Liberty Counsel is re-arguing the issues that were the basis of the earlier motion to intervene, which was denied, the Court should sanction Liberty Counsel.

UPDATE III: First there was the lawsuit, now will there be two graduations. Read Rick's Blog, Buzz: Pace High will have two graduations:

There is a group in Pace that is quietly organizing a separate high school graduation for the Class of 2010 from Pace High School. It is labeled “The First Amendment Graduation” – which I assume means students and families will be allowed to pray at the service. It’s not known whether the students will also march at the official high school graduation.

UPDATE II: The judge says the teachers can't sue. Read the Pensacola, News Journal, Judge: Group can't fight prayer case, which said that "Liberty Counsel founder and attorney Mathew Staver said Christian Educators plans to sue the Santa Rosa County School District to challenge the constitutionality of the agreement with the ACLU . . . [saying] "the judge has just created nuclear war."

One commentor noted that the "easy way would have been for the Liberty Counsel to sit down and attempt to negotiate a revision when it was offered, not grandstanding and threatening more lawsuits. It's all about the money."

He better watch it. The judge said his arguments had no merit. If he sues the School Board on that issue he could be sanctioned.

UPDATE: The legal arguments continue in the court hearing(s) on the Liberty Counsel's Motion to Intervene. Read the Northwest Florida Daily News, Christian group to sue district over school prayer. The article includes a link to the most recent court documents. Warning -- do not operate machinery while reading the court documents!

In our last episode, a teacher threatened to sue.

On Wednesday, the Liberty Council filed a motion on behalf of Christian Educators Association International to intervene and set aside the consent decree and order. Read the Northwest Florida Daily News, School/religion ruling challenged. Here are the most recent court documents:

The Motion to Intervene by Christian Educators Association International:

The Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion to Intervene:

Exhibit to Memorandum of Law, Federal Guidelines for Religious Expression in Public Schools:

Read these previous posts:

Wrongdoing Not Judicial Tyranny
Happy Ending for ACLU Lawsuit?
Is the Rally for the Constitution, or Religion
Contempt of Court or Contempt For God?

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