|ABOUT THIS SITE||MOST RECENT ARTICLES||RADIO INTERVIEWS||VIDEOS|
|ZIONISM||FREEMASONRY||FILMING COPS||FIGHTING TRAFFIC TICKETS|
|9/11= Inside Job||VACCINES= POISON||RED-LIGHT CAMERAS||EUGENICS=MURDER|
|NEW SECTION: CATHOLICISM||LibertyFight.com CLASSICS||HISTORICAL QUOTES||ALL WARS ARE BANKERS WARS!|
Let's look at the three legal precedents On this issue which are being raised by the school district - because these cases are all actually very interesting and it gives a big clue as to how this controversy will be decided.
But first let's look at the brief exchange between Kennedy's lawyers ad the school district - straight from the sources.
[LibertyFight.com notes: I love reading this legal stuff, but since I know that most people don't want to wade through it and simply want a concise summary, here is a short recap of the three court case precedents on this matter. If you want to know more details after this, continue reading the longer article below. :-)
1. Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe (U.S. Supreme Court, 2000) said schools may not allow prayers to be read- even by students - over the public address system at even optional extracurricular events, such as football games.
Excerpts from the U.S. Supreme Court ruling: "To assert that high school students do not feel immense social pressure, or have a truly genuine desire, to be involved in the extracurricular event that is American high school football is - formalistic in the extreme.- Ibid. We stressed in Lee the obvious observation that -adolescents are often susceptible to pressure from their peers towards conformity, and that the influence is strongest in matters of social convention.- Id., at 593. High school home football games are traditional gatherings of a school community; they bring together students and faculty as well as friends and family from years present and past to root for a common cause. Undoubtedly, the games are not important to some students, and they voluntarily choose not to attend. For many others, however, the choice between whether to attend these games or to risk facing a personally offensive religious ritual is in no practical sense an easy one. The Constitution, moreover, demands that the school may not force this difficult choice upon these students for -[i]t is a tenet of the First Amendment that the State cannot require one of its citizens to forfeit his or her rights and benefits as the price of resisting conformance to state-sponsored religious practice....Therefore, the simple enactment of this policy, with the purpose and perception of school endorsement of student prayer, was a constitutional violation. We need not wait for the inevitable to confirm and magnify the constitutional injury. "
The challenged prayers take place during school-controlled, curriculum-related activities that members of the basketball team are required to attend. During these activities DISD coaches and other school employees are present as representatives of the school and their actions are representative of DISD policies. See Bishop v. Aronov, 926 F.2d 1066, 1073 (11th Cir.1991) ('a teacher's [religious] speech can be taken as directly and deliberately representative of the school'). DISD representatives' participation in these prayers improperly entangles it in religion and signals an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.... For these reasons, we find that the district court did not err in enjoining DISD employees and agents from participating in student-initiated prayers."
3. Borden v. School District of the Township of East Brunswick New Jersey (2008) ruled that schools may not even allow coaches to participate in or appear to endorse religious activity that is entirely student-initiated. This case involved Jewish cheerleaders and even the ADL got involved. Excerpts from the ruling:
Marcus Borden, the head football coach at East Brunswick High School, would like to engage in the silent acts of bowing his
head during his team's pre-meal grace and taking a knee with his team during a locker-room prayer.
The following are a few examples of the disgusting comments that were posted:
Leavell continued, "As it pertains to athletics, the federal courts have held that:
Leavell adds "...The district is clearly bound by these federal precedents, should the district disgregard them allowing conduct that violates the establishment clause, the district will be subjected to significant potential liability, endangering precious funds needed to educate the district's students and sustain its important programs."
Two days ago, the school district published this on their website:
10.14.15 Message from Superintendent Leavell
A Message from Our Superintendent The Bremerton School District was notified by a Texas based religious liberty institute today that our assistant football coach will be saying a private, post-game religious prayer after Friday night's homecoming game. As the district stated last month, while on duty, our coaching staff can provide motivational, inspirational talks to students before, during and after games and other team activity, focusing on appropriate themes such as unity, teamwork, responsibility, safety and endeavor. However, because of mandatory federal law and School Board policy, these talks with students may not include religious expression, including prayer. District coaching staff remain on duty following games and until players have changed out of their uniforms and have been released to their parents.
When the issues about past religious practices were brought to our attention last month, we looked into the matter and were pleased to determine that the BHS football coaching staff's conduct was entirely well‐intentioned, but that the District had not provided clear guidance to staff regarding the limitations imposed by federal law. Following education as to those limitations, the coaching staff acknowledged their understanding of the guidelines provided, and agreed to abide by those guidelines going forward. We hope our coaching staff continues to stand by the earlier agreement and that Friday's football game will focus on the hard work of our student athletes.
The Liberty Institute published info about the case on their site: (excerpts)
Despite School District Ban, High School Coach
Says He Will Pray After Homecoming Game
What's The Problem?
After subsequent games, students continued to voluntarily go where Coach Kennedy prayed. Members of the opposing team also sometimes went to where Coach Kennedy prayed.
Although Coach Kennedy's prayers are verbal, he does not pray in the name of a specific religion or deity, and he does not say 'amen.' Each post-game prayer lasts approximately 15 to 20 seconds, during which Coach Kennedy is unaware of who may or may not be in the vicinity. Coach Kennedy's sole intent, as motivated by his sincerely-held religious beliefs, is to say a brief prayer of thanksgiving and then move on. Coach Kennedy has never received a complaint about his post-game personal prayers.
To summarize, Coach Kennedy engages in private religious expression during non-instructional hours, after his official duties as a coach have ceased. He neither requests, encourages, nor discourages students from participating in his personal prayers, or coming to where he prays. His prayers neither proselytize nor denigrate the beliefs of others. And he has never received a complaint about his post-game personal prayers. Under these circumstances, there is no constitutional prohibition against Coach Kennedy's private religious expression, regardless of whether students voluntarily come to the location where he is praying.
School Attempts to Silence Personal Prayer
But in September of 2015, Bremerton High School took issue with Kennedy and his practice. On September 17, 2015, the superintendent sent Kennedy an official letter from the school district, demanding the cessation of his ritual.
In response, Liberty Institute sent the school district a demand letter on October 14, 2015.
Delving into details of multiple court cases, Liberty Institute's demand letter explained that teachers and administrators do not lose their private rights to express their religious beliefs upon entering the schoolhouse'or the football field. Nor are students banned from voluntarily joining religious activity involving teachers. By offering a prayer at the 50-yard line after games, Coach Kennedy has done nothing wrong'and neither have the students who have opted to stand at the 50-yard line with him. In the letter, Liberty Institute attorneys say:
No reasonable observer could conclude that a football coach who waits until the game is over and the players have left the field and then walks to mid-field to say a short, private, personal prayer is speaking on behalf of the state. Quite the opposite, Coach Kennedy is engaged in private religious expression upon which the state may not infringe. In fact, any attempt by Bremerton School District to ban or prohibit Coach Kennedy'or any private citizen'from praying violates the First Amendment.
Liberty Institute is committed to defending Coach Kennedy, and educating schools like Bremerton High School of the religious liberty rights of teachers, students, and other school administrators.
In our demand letter dated October 14, 2015, Liberty Institute informed the Bremerton Independent School District that beginning on October 16, 2015, Kennedy will continue his Constitutional practice of saying a post-game prayer at the 50-yard line, and respectfully requested that the district rescind their letter of September 17.
Liberty Institute is currently awaiting a response from Bremerton Independent School District.
Let's take a look at these three very interesting cases that Superintendent Leavell brought up in his letter to Kennedy:
Santa Fe Independent School Dist. v. Doe, 530 U.S. 290 (2000), was a case heard before the United States Supreme Court. It ruled that a policy permitting student-led, student-initiated prayer at high school football games violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Oral arguments were heard March 29, 2000. The court announced its decision on June 19, holding the policy unconstitutional in a 6'3 decision. School prayer is a controversial topic in American jurisprudence.
Supreme Court of the United States
Argued March 29, 2000
Decided June 19, 2000
Full case name: Santa Fe Independent School District, Petitioner v. Jane Doe, individually and as next friend for her minor children, Jane and John Doe, et al.
Holding: The policy of the school district "permitting student-led, student-initiated prayer at [public high school] football games violates the Establishment Clause."
The Court decision - The Court held that the policy allowing the student-led prayer at the football games was unconstitutional. The majority opinion, written by Justice Stevens, depended on Lee v. Weisman. It held that these pre-game prayers delivered "on school property, at school-sponsored events, over the school's public address system, by a speaker representing the student body, under the supervision of school faculty, and pursuant to a school policy that explicitly and implicitly encourages public prayer" are not private, but public speech. "Regardless of the listener's support for, or objection to, the message, an objective Santa Fe High School student will unquestionably perceive the inevitable pregame prayer as stamped with her school's seal of approval." A dissenting opinion was written by Chief Justice Rehnquist, joined by Justices Scalia and Thomas. His dissent asserted that the majority opinion "bristles with hostility to all things religious in public life". His material objections were, first that the policy on which the Court has now ruled had not yet been put in to practice. "[T]he question is not whether the district's policy may be applied in violation of the Establishment Clause, but whether it inevitably will be." Second, Rehnquist also stated that the speech in question would be private, chosen and delivered by the speaker, rather than public, school-sponsored speech.
Here are some excepts from the ruling itself:
School sponsorship of a religious message is impermissible because it sends the ancillary message to members of the audience who are nonadherants 'that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community, and an accompanying message to adherants that they are insiders, favored members of the political community.' Lynch v. Donnelly, 465 U.S., at 688 (1984) (O'Connor, J., concurring). The delivery of such a message'over the school's public address system, by a speaker representing the student body, under the supervision of school faculty, and pursuant to a school policy that explicitly and implicitly encourages public prayer'is not properly characterized as 'private' speech.
The District next argues that its football policy is distinguishable from the graduation prayer in Lee because it does not coerce students to participate in religious observances. Its argument has two parts: first, that there is no impermissible government coercion because the pregame messages are the product of student choices; and second, that there is really no coercion at all because attendance at an extracurricular event, unlike a graduation ceremony, is voluntary.
The reasons just discussed explaining why the alleged 'circuit-breaker' mechanism of the dual elections and student speaker do not turn public speech into private speech also demonstrate why these mechanisms do not insulate the school from the coercive element of the final message. In fact, this aspect of the District's argument exposes anew the concerns that are created by the majoritarian election system. The parties' stipulation clearly states that the issue resolved in the first election was 'whether a student would deliver prayer at varsity football games,' App. 65, and the controversy in this case demonstrates that the views of the students are not unanimous on that issue. One of the purposes served by the Establishment Clause is to remove debate over this kind of issue from governmental supervision or control. We explained in Lee that the 'preservation and transmission of religious beliefs and worship is a responsibility and a choice committed to the private sphere.'
There are some students, however, such as cheerleaders, members of the band, and, of course, the team members themselves, for whom seasonal commitments mandate their attendance, sometimes for class credit. The District also minimizes the importance to many students of attending and participating in extracurricular activities as part of a complete educational experience. As we noted in Lee, '[l]aw reaches past formalism.' 505 U.S., at 595. To assert that high school students do not feel immense social pressure, or have a truly genuine desire, to be involved in the extracurricular event that is American high school football is 'formalistic in the extreme.' Ibid. We stressed in Lee the obvious observation that 'adolescents are often susceptible to pressure from their peers towards conformity, and that the influence is strongest in matters of social convention.' Id., at 593. High school home football games are traditional gatherings of a school community; they bring together students and faculty as well as friends and family from years present and past to root for a common cause. Undoubtedly, the games are not important to some students, and they voluntarily choose not to attend. For many others, however, the choice between whether to attend these games or to risk facing a personally offensive religious ritual is in no practical sense an easy one. The Constitution, moreover, demands that the school may not force this difficult choice upon these students for '[i]t is a tenet of the First Amendment that the State cannot require one of its citizens to forfeit his or her rights and benefits as the price of resisting conformance to state-sponsored religious practice.' Id., at 596.
..... The District, nevertheless, asks us to pretend that we do not recognize what every Santa Fe High School student understands clearly'that this policy is about prayer. The District further asks us to accept what is obviously untrue: that these messages are necessary to 'solemnize' a football game and that this single-student, year-long position is essential to the protection of student speech. We refuse to turn a blind eye to the context in which this policy arose, and that context quells any doubt that this policy was implemented with the purpose of endorsing school prayer.
Therefore, the simple enactment of this policy, with the purpose and perception of school endorsement of student prayer, was a constitutional violation. We need not wait for the inevitable to confirm and magnify the constitutional injury.
Now let's look at Doe V. Duncanville, out of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. It all began with a seventh grade girl on a basketball team.
John DOE, Individually and as next friend of Jane Doe, a Minor, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. DUNCANVILLE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT, et al., Defendants-Appellants.
United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.
Plaintiffs in this case are Jane Doe, a student in the Duncanville Independent School District, and John Doe, her father. Jane Doe first enrolled in the DISD in 1988, when she entered the seventh grade at the age of twelve. Doe qualified to play on the girls' basketball team and was placed in an athletic class specially designated for team members. This class was held during the last class period of the day and extended into after school practice. Students received academic credit for this class and for their participation in the sport. During her first class, Doe learned that the girls' basketball coach, Coach Smith, included the Lord's Prayer in each basketball practice. The basketball team also said prayers in the locker rooms before games began, after games in the center of the basketball court in front of spectators, and on the school bus travelling to and from basketball games. Coach Smith initiated or participated in these prayers. These prayers had been a tradition for almost twenty years.
When she first became a team member, Doe participated in these prayers because she did not wish to single herself out. After Doe's father attended a game and saw his daughter joining in the center court prayer, he asked her how she felt about participating. When told that she preferred not to participate, John Doe told his daughter that she did not have to take part in the prayers. Thereafter, Jane Doe no longer participated. At games away from home and at least one home game, Doe was required to stand by while the team prayed. Her non-participation drew attention from her fellow students, who asked her 'Aren't you a Christian?' and from one spectator, who called out 'Well, why isn't she praying? Isn't she a Christian?' At one point during her history class, Doe's history teacher referred to her as a 'little atheist.'
John Doe complained about the prayers to the assistant superintendent of schools, Ed Parker, and his successor, Marvin Utecht. Utecht halted the prayers at pep rallies, although he insisted there was nothing he could do about the post-game prayers.
...On August 15, 1991, the Does filed an application for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. Following a two-day trial, the district court entered a preliminary injunction forbidding DISD from permitting its employees to lead, encourage, promote or participate in prayer with or among students during curricular or extra-curricular activities, including sporting events. DISD appealed the preliminary injunction, which was affirmed by this Court in Doe v. Duncanville Independent School District, 994 F.2d 160 (5th Cir.1993)
... II. ANALYSIS
As we noted in Doe I, modern Establishment Clause jurisprudence is rife with confusion. 994 F.2d at 166 n. 7. This Court attempted to bring some order to the organization and application of the existing precedents in Jones v. Clear Creek Indep. School District, 977 F.2d 963 (5th Cir.1992) (Jones II ), by identifying three tests that the Supreme Court has used to determine whether a government action or policy constitutes an establishment of religion. First, we identified the Establishment Clause test of longest lineage: the Lemon test. Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602, 612-13, 91 S.Ct. 2105, 2111-12, 29 L.Ed.2d 745 (1971). Under Lemon, a government practice is constitutional if (1) it has a secular purpose, (2) its primary effect neither advances nor inhibits religion, and (3) it does not excessively entangle government with religion. Id. We then recognized that the Court has also analyzed school-sponsored religious activity in terms of the coercive effect that the activity has on students. Lee v. Weisman, 505 U.S. 577, 112 S.Ct. 2649, 120 L.Ed.2d 467 (1992). Lastly, we found that the Court has disapproved of governmental practices that appear to endorse religion. See e.g., County of Allegheny v. ACLU, 492 U.S. 573, 594, 109 S.Ct. 3086, 3101-02, 106 L.Ed.2d 472 (1989). See also Capitol Square Review Board v. Pinette, 515 U.S. 753, ---- - ----, 115 S.Ct. 2440, 2452-2456, 132 L.Ed.2d 650 (1995) (O'Connor, J., concurring). We will adhere to this approach today.
...(free expression rights must bow to the Establishment Clause prohibition on school-endorsed religious activities). This is particularly true in the instant context of basketball practices and games. The challenged prayers take place during school-controlled, curriculum-related activities that members of the basketball team are required to attend. During these activities DISD coaches and other school employees are present as representatives of the school and their actions are representative of DISD policies. See Bishop v. Aronov, 926 F.2d 1066, 1073 (11th Cir.1991) ('a teacher's [religious] speech can be taken as directly and deliberately representative of the school'). DISD representatives' participation in these prayers improperly entangles it in religion and signals an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. - See more at: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-5th-circuit/1463600.html#sthash.pSdqFgOr.dpuf
For these reasons, we find that the district court did not err in enjoining DISD employees and agents from participating in student-initiated prayers.
On April 15, 2008, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the high school's prohibitions. The Court wrote that, based on Borden's history of leading the prayers, "a reasonable observer would conclude that Borden is showing not merely respect when he bows his head and takes a knee with his teams and is instead endorsing religion."
Although all three judges of the Court of Appeals arrived at the same conclusion, they did so for three separate reasons. The judge who wrote the court's primary decision stated that the coach's actions endorsed the religious activity specifically because of the past history. Another judge explained that, even absent the history, a coach who kneels and bows his head in prayer with students is clearly endorsing the prayer. A third judge agreed that the school could properly foreclose the coach from joining in the activities but would not hold that the activities of kneeling and bowing one's head necessarily expressed an improper endorsement of the religious activity. Borden sought a rehearing of the case by the entire Third Circuit but, on May 16, 2008, the judges declined.
Here is a link to the actual case ruling and relevent excerpts:
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT
On Appeal from the United States District Court
for the District of New Jersey
(D.C. No. 05-cv-05923)
OPINION OF THE COURT FISHER, Circuit Judge
The Board held a meeting on October 20, 2005. Michael
Baker, the president of the Board, read a prepared statement
('the Board's statement'). In full, it read: " It is our
uncompromising expectation that Coach Borden's
personal agenda along with his lawyer[']s, does
not in any way interfere with this school district.
...We are a divided nation and have been since the ratification of our Constitution in 1791. Issues of faith are personal and divisive today as they were back then. This meeting and subsequent [Board of Education] meetings are not the forum for such debate, and legal [c]onstitutional rulings are not the purview of the Board of Education. Congress, the President and the Supreme Court make, enforce and interpret the laws and these branches of [g]overnment are the appropriate places to lobby for one's position on these matters, not here. This is not a platform for individual agendas on [c]onstitutional cases that have already been clearly decided. I will therefore preside over this meeting this evening with these thoughts in mind.
One of the foundations of our democracy
is that the right of someone to express concern or
to bring a matter of discomfort to the attention of
authority is to be respected and protected. It is
not to be vilified and dishonored. Some of th extreme language, hateful emails and
inappropriate and inaccurate reporting of this
story, has shifted blame onto the blameless and
has distorted beyond measure the matter at hand.
If we can do one thing together as a community,
it should be to stand up in vast numbers and
express outrage and concern against those who
would cheapen the actions of brave and
committed Americans. No person should have to
be afraid to express their constitutionally
protected individual rights. Hopefully, we can all
learn from this experience and move forward with
dignity and respect for each other. Thank you.'
...Superintendent Magistro testified that she received telephone calls in September 2005 from some parents of cheerleaders. They complained that their daughters were 'uncomfortable' when Borden initiated a prayer at a pregame dinner. (JA 153-56). Students apparently learned of these complaints, and blamed two Jewish cheerleaders. Thereafter, those cheerleaders were publicly ridiculed by other students at athletic events, and the cheerleading squad was taunted, bullied, and booed. (JA 452 at ' 5). The cheerleaders were even harassed and threatened on a student internet 'blog.' In the days following Coach Borden's resignation, several internet posts appeared under the heading, 'Jewish Cheerleaders who suck!!!.' The following are a few examples of the disgusting comments that were posted:
Borden's counsel, in his brief and at oral argument, urged us to disregard evidence of parents' calls to the Superintendent and harassment of the cheerleaders: [E]very assertion cited to by [the School District] to support every alleged parent or student complaint about Borden's pre-October 7, 2005[,] activity is based on hearsay that is derived from anonymous sources that the [School] District refused to identify. Defendants have not submitted a single sworn, or even unsworn, statement from any alleged complaining student or parent. Nor has the [School] District disclosed the name of any alleged complaining student or parent.
Borden's Br. at 16-17. However, given the nature of these venomous comments, counsel can not seriously suggest that the evidence be ignored merely because students and parents who opposed Coach Borden's policy were not willing to identify themselves and offer direct testimony. The situation is neither new nor unique. In Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe, the Court noted that the district court permitted students and parents to litigate anonymously. 530 U.S. at 294. The opprobrium that can await those who publicly state their opposition to prayer in school is evident from the Court's opinion in Santa Fe.
NOTE: The 'DISQUS' feature has been added to this site so you can leave your comments below. No login is required, you can post as a guest.
[Facebook does not allow links to my site. To post this article on Facebook, use this link: http://whatreallyhappened.com/content/showdown-tonight-washington-high-school-look-3-legal-precedents-regarding-praying-football-g.]
Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 TV Los Angeles, The Press Enterprise, LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened.com, Infowars.com, PrisonPlanet.com, Economic Policy Journal, TargetLiberty.com, FreedomsPhoenix, Haaretz, TMZ, Veterans Today, Jonathan Turley blog, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, National Motorists Association, AmericanFreePress.net, RomanCatholicReport.com, WorldNetDaily, HenryMakow.com, OverdriveOnline.com, Educate-Yourself.org, TexeMarrs.com, Dr. Kevin Barrett's Truth Jihad radio show, Strike-The-Root.com, Pasadena Weekly, ActivistPost.com, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI AM 640, IamtheWitness.com, Redlands Daily Facts, SaveTheMales.ca, BlackBoxVoting, The Michael Badnarik Show, The Wayne Madsen Report, Devvy.com, Rense.com, FromTheTrenchesWorldReport.com, BeforeItsNews.com, The Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze, CopBlock.org, DavidIcke.com, Whittier Daily News, KCLA FM Hollywood, The Fullerton Observer, Antiwar.com, From The Trenches World Report, and many others. Archives can be found at LibertyFight.com and DontWakeMeUp.Org.
You can follow LibertyFight.com on Twitter and re-tweet this article here.
Tweets by @LibertyFight
comments powered by Disqus