The Pacific Justice Institute has announced that it has joined (as co-counsel) Sacramento-area parent Larry Caldwell’s federal lawsuit against the Roseville Joint Union High School District for the violation of Caldwell’s civil rights. This welcomed news is discussed further in Pacific Justice Insitute’s press release (found here).
As we have previously blogged about (here and elsewhere), Caldwell had presented to RJUHSD School Board a Quality Science Education Policy, which simply stated that teachers should “help students analyze the scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories, including the theory of evolution.” The policy proposal included the supplementing of existing curricula with scientific materials that included some of the scientific criticisms that have been raised against aspects of chemical and biological evolutionary theories by members of the scientific community.
The Quality Science Education Policy, contrary to some earlier, erroneous claims, did NOT call for the removal of evolutionary theory, nor did it call for the teaching of the alternative scientific theory of intelligent design.)
But Caldwell never received a fair hearing on the merits of his proposal. As the Pacific Justice Institute’s Press release states:
For over a year, school officials continually denied him a fair hearing on his proposal, in clear violation of California and federal law, denied other parents the right to speak in favor of the proposal and launched personal attacks.
In fact, one outspoken member of the School Board went so far as threatening to sue Caldwell for his outspokenness about the Quality Science Education Policy.
Caldwell and the Pacific Justice Institute have raised several legal claims against the RJUHSD, including violation of Caldwell’s freedom of speech under the U.S. and California Constitutions, violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Establishment Clause and religious freedom provisions of the California Constitution, violation of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses, as well as a taxpayer’s claim under the California Civil Code.
See Discovery Institute’s earlier press release about this case, here.