Friends, The new Alliance Alert Daily Digest is finally here! You can subscribe to the daily e-mail here: Subscribe to our mailing list * indicates required Email Address * First Name * Last Name *
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette: His letter proposes the district either remove sexual orientation and gender identity from the policy or replace it with one based on a policy drafted by either Alliance Defending Freedom or Liberty Counsel, two conservative organizations.
The FIRE: Last Monday, FIRE and the Student Press Law Center (SPLC) jointly applied for permission to file an amici curiae (friends-of-the-court) brief with the Kansas Court of Appeals in Yeasin v. University of Kansas.
Daily Spark Tribune: A legal analysis of the law by the Alliance Defending Freedom makes much of the fact the law will force school officials to make student bathrooms and shower facilities available to students who identify with a gender other than their biological gender.
The Gospel Coalition: We’re continuing our series through several of this year’s notable Commencement speeches. Last week, we looked at Stephen Colbert’s address to Wake Forest University. Today, we’re hearing from Ian McEwan, an acclaimed English novelist and screenwriter, who delivered a message to the graduates at Dickinson College.
One News Now: “The unfortunate thing is that instead of just allowing our client and his friends to continue to use the seminar time for prayer, they just canceled seminar altogether,” Jeremy Tedesco reports. “And by doing that they eliminated the ability of all students to use that time to build community and to hang out in groups.”
Christian News Network: Republicans in Idaho have proposed a resolution calling for support for using the Bible alongside public school curriculum.
The Weekly Standard: June, for conservatives, has been of late the “cruelest month” at the Supreme Court, as the decisions finally roll forth. Many expect—with a combination of apprehension and resignation—that in the critical case of Obergefell v. Hodges, Justice Anthony Kennedy will furnish the fifth vote for installing same-sex marriage as a constitutional right. But already, during the oral argument in the case in April, the solicitor general, Donald Verrilli, set off tremors in the land when Justice Samuel Alito raised the question of the precedent in the 1983 case of Bob Jones University.
One News Now: Samantha Harris of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, says the policy suffers from a “common defect” among colleges and universities, which is conflicting definitions within the same set of rules.
Christian News Network: Administrators from Christian and Catholic schools nationwide have signed on to a letter urging Congress to pass a law that would protect religious schools from punishment over their biblical beliefs on marriage.
The College Fix: It’s only when watchdog groups such as the Alliance Defending Freedom and Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) intervene that administrators back down, according to a College Fix review of cases.
The College Fix: “School districts, of all institutions, should understand that students benefit from the peaceful and thoughtful discussion of ideas,” rather than shutting down “all discussions” among students to retain a prayer ban, said legal counsel Matt Sharp.
School district reportedly banned teens from meeting to discuss God during the school day–but there’s a major update to the story
The Blaze: “While we commend the school district for recognizing that students have the right to pray and discuss religious topics during lunch, it could have shown greater respect both for the First Amendment freedoms of students and the educational process by simply allowing them to engage in religious conversations during the other free period in the day rather than silence the speech of all students by eliminating that period altogether,” Alliance Defending Freedom senior legal counsel Jeremy Tedesco said in a statement.
The Gazette: “The school did a complete 180,” Matt Sharp, an Alliance Defending Freedom attorney, said. “Students now have a right to pray and gather together to discuss their faith during free time.”
KRDO: That ends a lawsuit filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom against Pine Creek High School in Colorado Springs on behalf of a student.
The Washington Times: “Sadly, rather than allow Chase and the other students to pray during Seminar time, the District chose to cancel Seminar for this coming school year,” said Matt Sharp, an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom, the conservative legal group that represented Mr. Windebank.
Christian News Network: “Public schools should encourage the free exchange of ideas rather than find ways to silence discussion,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco.
The Washington Post: “From day one, this case has been focused on the District’s decision to not only prevent Chase and the other students from praying together,” Matt Sharp of the ADF wrote in an e-mail, “but also the District’s position that students cannot gather for prayer at any time during the school day.”
ADF Media: A Colorado school district has dropped its ban on student religious discussion and expression during free time. In light of the change, Alliance Defending Freedom and the district’s attorneys have agreed to end the lawsuit that ADF filed last year on behalf of Pine Creek High School senior Chase Windebank.
Public Discourse: No matter what well-intentioned teachers and administrators believe, LGBT acceptance programs designed by GLSEN and funded by the CDC are designed to encourage kids to question their gender identity and sexual orientation.
The Christian Post: Included in the release were comments from ADF’s senior legal counsel David Hacker who said, “Universities cannot function as marketplaces of ideas if free speech requires a warning sign or is otherwise severely limited on campus.
World Magazine (Subscription Required): Faith-based organizations worry dire consequences could follow the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling.
Christian News Network: A federal judge in Washington has ruled partly in favor of a high school student who was repeatedly suspended last year over his evangelistic activities on campus, ordering the punishments on his record to be expunged.
The Washington Post: “Universities cannot function as marketplaces of ideas if free speech requires a warning sign or is otherwise severely limited on campus,” David Hacker, an attorney for the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom and counsel for Abolitionists4Life, said.
Reuters: The lawsuit in federal court in Idaho was filed after the anti-abortion group Abolitionists4Life hosted two events on campus last spring that sought through images to “communicate its pro-life message,” the organization’s senior legal counsel, David Hacker, said in a statement.
UPI: “We commend Boise State University for acknowledging this by revising its speech policy so that students can speak more freely throughout campus without fear of punishment,” ADF senior legal counsel David Hacker said. “Universities cannot function as marketplaces of ideas if free speech requires a warning sign or is otherwise severely limited on campus.”
National Right to Life: “Universities cannot function as marketplaces of ideas if free speech requires a warning sign or is otherwise severely limited on campus,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel David Hacker. “We commend Boise State University for acknowledging this by revising its speech policy so that students can speak more freely throughout campus without fear of punishment.”
Idaho Statesman: The Alliance Defending Freedom filed the lawsuit on Abolitionists4Life’s behalf. The Alliance Defending Freedom was founded by leaders of the religious right, including Dr. James Dobson, of Focus on the Family; Don Wildmon, of the American Family Association; the Rev. D. James Kennedy, of Coral Ridge Ministries; and Bill Bright, of Campus Crusade for Christ.
Christianity Today: Christian educators in Israel say their 48 high-achieving primary and secondary schools may be forced to close due to funding discrimination by the state’s Ministry of Education.
The College Fix: David Hacker, senior legal counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, accused the campus of “viewpoint discrimination” and violating the pro-life students’ First Amendment rights.
Christian Today: At least 95 schools in northern Kenya have been forced to close after teachers, many of whom are Christians, refused to work fearing attacks from Islamist militant group al-Shabaab.
The Daily Signal: In anticipation of the Supreme Court’s impending decision on the gay marriage case, Sen. Mike Lee is attempting to protect religious non-profits by passing legislation that would prohibit the federal government from “discriminating” against faith-based institutions.
Vox: Things have changed since I started teaching. The vibe is different. I wish there were a less blunt way to put this, but my students sometimes scare me — particularly the liberal ones.
Life News: “Universities cannot function as marketplaces of ideas if free speech requires a warning sign or is otherwise severely limited on campus,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel David Hacker. “We commend Boise State University for acknowledging this by revising its speech policy so that students can speak more freely throughout campus without fear of punishment.”
ADF Media: Boise State University has revised its speech policy in light of a lawsuit Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed last year on behalf of a pro-life student group. The university’s new speech policy no longer requires student organizations to post warning signs on campus for events school officials deem “controversial” and no longer limits literature distribution on campus.
The Washington Times: David Hacker, the senior legal counsel for ADF, issued a statement to Campus Reform announcing that the school decided to revoke the fees. “We are thankful that the University of Santa Barbara has removed the unconstitutional security fee and is protecting the group’s right on campus to have this lecture on a critically important cultural issue,” the statement said.
The New York Sun: Within hours of the United States Supreme Court declining on March 30 to review the Bronx Household of Faith case, a lawsuit challenging New York City’s ban on private worship services in empty school buildings, Mayor Bill de Blasio responded with what appears to be a decisive move of reconciliation.
Salon: A Colorado teacher has filed a federal lawsuit against the school district where he works, alleging the district’s only high school illegally promotes Christianity in conjunction with a nearby evangelical church.
Religion Clause: Deciding the case on remand from the Supreme Court (see prior posting), the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in a 2-1 decision in University of Notre Dame v. Burwell, (7th Cir., May 19, 2015), refused to grant a preliminary injunction to Notre Dame University in its challenge to the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage mandate as applied to religious non-profits.
Christian Concern: Students at a Welsh university have voted to ban the tradition of putting Bibles in their halls of residence in the name of ‘multiculturalism’.
Fox News: In February, she was instructed by her technology teacher to create a PowerPoint demonstration about her life. One of the requirements was to include a slide with an inspirational message.
Associated Press: A federal appeals court has rejected the University of Notre Dame’s request to temporarily be exempt from a provision in the Affordable Care Act that requires the Catholic school’s insurance providers to cover the costs of contraceptives for students and staff.
The Christian Institute: Students at a Welsh university have voted to remove thousands of Bibles from halls of residence, in a move being described as “illiberal and intolerant”.
National Right to Life: In Fargo, many more students will now have the opportunity to learn about the value and dignity of the preborn because two teenagers fought for their right to stand for life.
News OK: A federal judge is being asked to decide whether an American Indian student can wear a sacred eagle feather on her cap at her high school graduation ceremony Saturday.
Christian Today: The Churches Education Commission (CEC), the provider of Bible studies in more than 660 public schools in New Zealand is filing a legal challenge before the High Court to allow religious studies in the classroom following efforts to remove the subject from state schools.
Law and Religion Australia: My previous post mentioned that some books used in Special Religious Education (SRE) in NSW had been summarily banned by the Department of Education and Communities, apparently on the grounds that they conveyed classical Christian teaching about sexual morality.
Minding the Campus: When I published my first book, Unlearning Liberty, in 2012, I felt a bit optimistic that the situation for free speech on campus was improving. Not that the state of free speech on campus was good by any means, but it seemed as though there had been improvement since the blizzard of weird cases that my organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), saw from 2007 to 2008.
Valencia College sonography students allege retaliation for objecting to transvaginal ultrasounds by classmates
FIRE: Two former students of Valencia College, a public institution in Orlando, Florida, have accused college officials of violating their First Amendment rights after they were allegedly punished for complaining about Valencia’s practice of having female students repeatedly undergo transvaginal ultrasounds at the hands of their classmates. The unnamed students filed a complaint in federal court last week, claiming that faculty members threatened their academic standing and future careers in retaliation for their speech.
North Jersey: “In most of these cases when a teacher is operating on their private Facebook page, it’s very clear they’re speaking in their personal capacity and not as an employee,” said Rory Gray, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom.
Fox News: One of the nation’s largest public school systems is preparing to include gender identity to its classroom curriculum, including lessons on gender fluidity – the idea that there’s no such thing as boys or girls.
First Things: A few weeks ago, I assigned the article “What is Marriage?” to the students in my gender theory class, which I teach at an evangelical university.
Trove (Toronto Star): Much has been written — and shouted — about an updated sex education curriculum that leaves many Ontarians all hot and bothered.
IPS News Agency (Translated via Google): “Education should be in values, responsibility and parents and society in the formation of a multicultural and multiethnic state,” he told IPS Mexican Sofia Martinez, spokesman for the recommendations of the Commission of Education and Culture Forum Civil Society and Social Actors.
The College Fix: It seemed a perfect choice: A Catholic university inviting one of the church’s top leaders – the archbishop of New York – someone who even voted in the last papal conclave, as its commencement speaker.
USA Today: Justice Alito posed a predictable, but revealing question to Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr., in the recent Supreme Court same-sex marriage oral argument: “In the Bob Jones case, the court held that a college was not entitled to tax exempt status if it opposed interracial marriage or interracial dating. So would the same apply to a university or a college if it opposed same-sex marriage?”
Campus Reform: Students attending a commencement address at one of the country’s top 50 schools are nine times more likely to hear from a liberal speaker than a conservative according to a new study issued by the non-profit Young America’s Foundation (YAF).
Campus Reform: Stony Brook University’s Graduate Queer Alliance (GQA) is demanding the school apologize for hosting a conservative Christian during a recent debate, citing the importance of debate and open dialogue.
One News Now: Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorney Erik Stanley asserts the government’s action violates the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUPA).
Breitbart: For the first time in history, Pakistani history books for middle and high school students will describe the role that Christians, Hindus and Sikhs have had in building the country after independence.
The Conversation: All Australian anti-discrimination laws provide for some exemptions. Among the most controversial are those granted to religious schools.
First Things: Nevertheless, the present situation does not appear to me to be as rosy as David French (a lawyer who has advised President Lindsay and Gordon College) depicted it in his May 1 National Reviewonline article, “Gordon College Keeps Its Faith and Its Accreditation.”
National Review: Smith College also claimed that the decision “affirms Smith’s . . . commitment to representing the diversity of women’s lived experiences.” But while it will admit men who identify as women, it won’t admit women who identify as men. So much for its “commitment to representing the diversity” of actual women.
Religion News Service: A trend on college campuses this past year goes by inviting slogan “all comers.” But even as the school year winds up, the controversy around “all comers” does not.
This Week News: “(Tree of Life) believes this site serves their purposes very well,” said Stanley, who works for Kansas-based Alliance Defending Freedom. “They continue to believe there was a series of miraculous circumstances that allowed them to purchase this building.
Campus Reform: A professor at Polk State College has allegedly failed a humanities student after she refused to concede that Jesus is a “myth” or that Christianity oppresses women during a series of mandatory assignments at the Florida college.
Evangelicai.net (Translated via Google): The mayor’s decision was met with satisfaction from Alliance Defending Freedom, US organization of Christian lawyers, also in New York, who for many years he has been committed to the protection of religious freedom.
Aleteia: If the Supreme Court rules that gay marriage must be legal across the nation, could religious colleges and universities lose their tax- exempt status?
This Week: Erik Stanley, an attorney for Kansas-based Alliance Defending Freedom, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of Tree of Life, said he believes the judicial panel understood his argument that Tree of Life has been treated unequally.
The College Fix: “Courts upheld chaplain programs in a variety of contexts where citizens are removed from their congregations due to their government services,” alliance legal counsel Travis Barham told The College Fix in a phone interview.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley will be available for media interviews immediately following his oral argument Wednesday before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit on behalf of an Ohio Christian school denied zoning approval to use its own new building.
One News Now: “This is simply a way for these public universities to accommodate the needs of their religious student athletes,” Travis Barham of Alliance Defending Freedom says. “And public universities have tremendous leeway under the First Amendment to accommodate the needs of their students, including the religious needs of their students.”
Christian News Network: A public school teacher in Canada recently explained at an educator’s conference how she convinces young children to accept homosexuality and same-sex households.
The American Conservative: Michael Lindsay, the president of Gordon College, spoke this morning to the Q Ideas conference here in Boston. He, and the college he leads, are under severe attack for holding to orthodox Christian teaching on LGBT. Gordon is Evangelical, but very far from a fundamentalist stronghold. Yet they are seen by many people — many powerful people — as a bastion of bigotry.