Friday, December 30, 2005

More bad press

In this instance I think both sides are wrong. The school for "judging" the girls and not loving them like Christ would, and the girls for filing a lawsuit. They should just find another school. Just more bad press for the "Right" and "Left".

Calif. teens, suspected of being lesbians, suing Christian school over expulsion

Associated PressDec. 30, 2005 12:00 AM
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Two 16-year-olds who were expelled from a Lutheran high school because they were suspected of being lesbians have sued the school for invasion of privacy and discrimination.
The lawsuit, filed last week in Riverside County Superior Court, seeks the girls' re-enrollment at the small California Lutheran High School, unspecified damages and an injunction barring the school from excluding gays and lesbians.
Kirk D. Hanson, an attorney for the girls, said the expulsion traumatized and humiliated them.
"Their entire support network was pulled out from under them because of suspicions about their sexual orientation," said Hanson, who declined to say whether his clients are lesbians.
The school is on Christmas break until next week, and messages left for school officials Thursday were not immediately returned.
The lawsuit alleges that the school's principal, Gregory Bork, called the girls into his office, grilled them on their sexual orientation and "coerced" one girl into saying she loved the other.
The next day, the lawsuit says, Bork told the girls' parents they could not stay at the school with "those feelings." In a Sept. 12 letter to the parents, Bork acknowledged that officials had seen no physical contact between the girls but said their friendship was "uncharacteristic of normal girl relationships and more characteristic of a lesbian one.""Such a relationship violates our Christian Code of Conduct," Bork wrote in his letter, which was included as an exhibit in the lawsuit. He called the girls' behavior "scandalous" and "immoral."
Hanson said the 142-student school in Wildomar, Calif., must comply with state civil rights laws because it functions as a business by collecting tuition.
"There's a lot of hypocrisy going on here," Hanson said. "The school is claiming the girls were expelled because their conduct wasn't within the Christian code.
"But at the same time, (the school) has students who aren't Christians and are even Jewish."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liz here from I Speak of Dreams. As I understand the case, the principal was acting on rumor from other students (and families) that there were pictures of the girls "in suggestive poses". The legal documents deny the existence of the photos.

The principal interrogated the girls separately and togther for hours, based on gossip going around the school. The girls' parents were NOT present. There was no evidence, other than gossip, that the girls were romantically involved. The suit is for invasion of privacy, discrimination, and unfair business practices. I have more details about the case on my blog:

Expelled on Suspicion.

Separation of church and state issue: In this case, the school is NOT consituted as part of a church, but is a non-profit operation acting as a business (as many religious and independent schools are).

One of the interesting issues here is that the school, Cal Lutheran, enrolls students who are not Christian--who don't meet the standard of professing Jesus as their personal savior. (beginning of school's mission statement: "CLHS exists to glorify God by using His inerrant Word to nurture discipleship in Christ, serving primarily the youth of WELS and ELS congregations, equipping them for a lifetime of service to their Savior in their homes, churches, vocations, and communities.")

Private school enrollment is a contract between the parents and the school. The enrollment contract typically lists the obligations of each party, usually referring to a code of student conduct that the parents and the student sign.

The issue seems to be here, can a school expel a student without evidence?

As a parent of a girl that age, I know that girls can and do have intense friendships that are entirely without erotic content.

Why should the girls sue to be reinstated? Because their entire lives are wound up in the school. As a parent, I might take the very steps those girls' parents are taking.

12:13 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

I so appreciate your comment. Thanks for posting it. It sounds like you have way more information than I do as I was just going by one article that I read in our local newspaper.

I am very much against the Religious Right and the Liberal Left and all of the bickering they do. I myself am a Christian but have recently questioned the Religious Rights agenda. Is this the way Christ would treat others? I don't think so. I have become very interested in loving others despite their faults. I believe that we as Christians should love and treat others with dignity regardless of where they are at in life.

Your blog looks very interesting and I will check it out when I have some free time. Again, thanks for posting your comment.

1:09 PM  
Blogger friend said...

That is a tough one. I think if those girls wanted to go on a mission trip I would have to say no - that there are certain standards we must make - but then...

could we apply the same standards to our schools where we want our children growing up. I don't know - it is tough for sure.

And the whole consistency thing does present another issue.

8:32 AM  

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