Caldwell Wins Round One In Suit Against School District
California Parent Larry Caldwell has won a preliminary victory in his lawsuit against the Roseville Joint Union School District in Sacramento, CA.
According to a press release issued by Caldwell yesterday:
a federal judge has ruled that California citizens have a Constitutional right under the First Amendment to put proposed evolution policies on the agenda of local school board meetings for public debate and potential adoption, and that school officials who refuse such a request are subject to potential civil rights remedies in federal court.Caldwell sent us a copy of the Judge's order which you can read here.
Caldwell filed his suit against the district alleging that his constitutional rights to free speech, equal protection and religious freedom were violated in his efforts to improve the teaching of evolution in his district. In Roseville only the scientific strengths of evolution are taught in scinence classes, and no discussion of the scientific weaknesses or criticism of evolution is allowed. According to Caldwell, for eight months, district officials repeatedly refused to put his Quality Science Educcation policy on the school board agenda, contrary to California state law and the U.S. Constitution.
The QSE policy is a modest one by any reading. In part it says:
teachers in the Roseville Joint Union High School District are expected to help students analyze the scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories, including the theory of evolution.Hardly a radical policy request. This is similar to the standards and lesson plan adopted in Ohio, as well as Minnesota and New Mexico, and is similar to the standards expected to be adopted later this year by the state of Kansas.
Recently Caldwell, along with the Pacific Justice Insitute brought suit in federal court against the National Science Fourndation for using federal funds to develop a website explicity using religion to push evolution in public schools.