Christian school’s lawsuit against UC system to go to trial

A federal judge has issued a ruling allowing a Christian school’s discrimination lawsuit against the University of California to proceed to trial.

U.S. District Judge S. James Otero’s decision on Tuesday followed a tentative ruling he made in June, allowing several students from Calvary Chapel Christian School to pursue their claim that the public university system discriminated against them by setting admission rules that violate their freedom of speech and religion. The school is in Murietta, about 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

In a 25-page ruling, the judge rejected UC’s attempt to dismiss several key claims in the suit and said the plaintiffs — which also include the school and the Association of Christian Schools International — showed enough evidence to support their allegations. Otero said the plaintiffs had shown that they had been required to choose between teaching courses that promoted their religious views and complying with UC’s requirements.

“It is evident that the plaintiffs have alleged sufficient facts to state a claim for violation of the freedom of speech,” the judge wrote.

The lawsuit, filed last summer, was prompted by UC’s refusal to certify courses that challenge evolutionary teachings and endorse conservative Christian viewpoints. It accuses the system of bias by generally approving courses taught from other religious and political perspectives.

The suit asks the judge to order UC to recognize the Christian-themed courses.

The university has denied the allegations, saying that admissions officials must be able to reject high school courses that do not meet its standards or that provide more religious than academic content.


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Aug. 9, 2006
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Religion News Blog posted this on Wednesday August 9, 2006.
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