Teacher who sued over religion quits

An elementary school teacher who sued the Cupertino Union School District last fall, saying his employer tried to limit his instructional materials because he was a Christian, has resigned from his job just days after reaching a legal settlement.

Stephen J. Williams, who taught fifth grade at Stevens Creek Elementary School, resigned Monday and was packing up with his wife and two infant children for a move to Bend, Ore., Williams said in an interview Wednesday.

Jeremy Nishihara, a spokesman for the school district, confirmed that Williams had tendered his resignation but had no further comment in the case, which received national attention.

Some of the materials Williams used in teaching U.S. history included a list of various religious clauses found in state constitutions and in the Declaration of Independence and George Washington’s prayer journal.

When some parents complained and district officials asked Williams to drop the use of some documents with religious references, Williams sued the district in federal court, saying that his constitutional rights were being violated.

On Thursday, Williams withdrew his complaint in exchange for the district stating that teachers are able to use instructional material with religious content, under certain conditions. There is no financial settlement involved in the agreement.

“My wife and I have been praying about it for a while,” Williams, 39, said about his decision to resign.

He does not have a job lined up in Oregon and said it is unlikely he will return to teaching in public schools.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
San Francisco Chronicle, USA
Aug. 18, 2005
Suzanne Herel

Religion News Blog posted this on Friday August 19, 2005.
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