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    Calif. School Backs Down After Censoring Student s Views on Homosexuality Head of Legal Defense Group: One-Way Tolerance Is Tyranny By Jim Brown May 4, 2005
    Message 1 of 1 , May 5, 2005
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      Calif. School Backs Down After Censoring Student's Views on Homosexuality
      Head of Legal Defense Group: 'One-Way Tolerance Is Tyranny'
      By Jim Brown
      May 4, 2005

      (AgapePress) - A high school in Rancho Cucamonga, California, recently attempted to bar a student from wearing a T-shirt that read: "Tolerance is the virtue of believing in nothing," and "Truth is truth -- homosexuality is wrong."

      Senior Lindy Daniels was yanked from her classroom at Los Osos High School, sent to the principal's office, and told she must either change the shirt or leave school. Shortly afterward, her parents contacted Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), a non-profit legal defense organization that specializes in defending religious freedom, parental rights, and other civil liberties.

      One of PJI's attorneys immediately called the school and faxed a letter the same day, explaining how students have First Amendment rights that follow them when they step onto a school campus. The legal group informed Los Ossos High School officials that the school was trampling Daniels' free-speech rights, and that she would continue to wear the shirt and other shirts expressing her values and beliefs at her own discretion.

      The school asserted that the censorship was based on concerns over "tolerance" and "diversity." A Los Ossos High official explained that homosexuals would be offended by a shirt bearing a message like the one Daniels' wore. But PJI chief counsel Kevin Snider says the school was engaging in anti-Christian bigotry -- and not for the first time.

      "Regrettably, I have come to learn that this school has a history of antagonism towards people who take a given position on the morality of homosexuality and who celebrate traditional marriage," Snider notes. But after PJI intervened on Daniels' behalf, the school backed down, deciding not to punish the student, and has since stopped harassing her.

      According to Snider, school officials cannot legally deny students their right to religious speech. "What schools should remember," the attorney says, "is that students have a right to voice their opinion on social, moral, and religious issues, and this is perfectly legal. It should be encouraged within the realm of civil debate."

      Commenting on the case, PJI president Brad Dacus observed, "One-way tolerance is not tolerance, but tyranny." He says intolerance against students because of their religious or moral convictions has no place in public education.

      Jim Brown, a regular contributor to AgapePress, is a reporter for American Family Radio News, which can be heard online.
      � 2005 AgapePress all rights reserved.

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