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Fwd: PLANS LAWSUIT UPDATE - anthro on the net 1

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  • LilOleMissy
    Interesting, but not unexpected news... Sheila Begin forwarded message: From: Aspects Date: August 31, 2004 5:08:53 PM PDT To:
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 31, 2004
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      Interesting, but not unexpected news...

      Sheila

      Begin forwarded message:

      From: "Aspects" <randolphgordon@...>
      Date: August 31, 2004 5:08:53 PM PDT
      To: <Undisclosed-Recipient:;>
      Subject: PLANS LAWSUIT UPDATE - anthro on the net 1

      Anthroposophy on the Net - Sacramento News
       
      Anthroposophical Society’s "amicus brief" accepted by California court

      By Douglas Miller
      In the legal action by People for Legal and Non-Sectarian Schools
      (PLANS) against two California school districts using Waldorf teaching
      methods, the amicus curiae brief presented by the Anthroposophical
      Society in America to a federal court in California has been accepted
      by the court. 


      As reported earlier,  the Society submitted the brief in the suit
      between the anti-Waldorf group and the Sacramento City Unified School
      District and Twin Ridges Elementary School District to contest
      allegations by PLANS that anthroposophy is a religion.  Acceptance of
      the Society’s brief was at the discretion of the judge.

      According to Jean Yeager, administrative director of the Society in
      America, the Society has had involvement neither in the development nor
      the advancement of Waldorf-method schools in the public sector. 
      However, the Society is the legal representative of anthroposophy in
      America. 

      Its amicus brief asserts that, first, it is inappropriate and contrary
      to principles of judicial economy for the court to undertake to
      determine the nature of anthroposophy or of the Anthroposophical
      Society as PLANS has asked the Court to do; second, as the legal
      guardian of anthroposophy in the US, the Society asserts that
      anthroposophy is not a religion; third, the Society details
      specifically how anthroposophy and the Anthroposophical Society do not
      meet the relevant criteria of “religion”, including the standards
      outlined in Alvarado, the leading Californian case on the issue.

      ___________________________________

      CLARIFICATION ON FORMER REPORT:   We have been asked by lawyers for the
      Anthroposophical Society in America,  to clarify two points. Prof.
      Douglas Sloan has been engaged as an expert witness by the two school
      districts, not by the Anthroposophical Society as reported in our
      previous item (“Anthroposophical Society in America intervenes in
      lawsuit”). Second, usage of the term “intervene” to describe the
      Society’s submission of an amicus brief could be open to
      misinterpretation if taken in a strictly legal sense, since “intervene”
      as a legal term means to become a party to the suit.  As was indicated
      in the NNA report, the Society is not a party in the case.

      __________________________________

      Anthroposophy on the Net: If you would like to join our email list and
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      ______________________________________________
       
      FOR YOUR INTEREST, BELOW IS THE FORMER JULY, 2004, NEWS RELEASE
       

       
      Anthroposophical Society in America Intervenes in California "Plans"
      Lawsuit
      By Douglas Miller

      Attorneys for the Anthroposophical Society in America have intervened
      in a lawsuit in a California Federal court.
      According to attorney Katherine Thievierge, the amicus brief of the
      Anthroposophical Society presents arguments to the Court that
      anthroposophy is not a religion.  The Society is contesting allegations
      brought by  PLANS (People for Legal and Non-Sectarian Schools), a group
      of anti-Waldorf activists who are also strongly critical of
      anthroposophy.  In 1998, PLANS sued the Sacramento City Unified School
      District and the Twin Ridges Elementary School District to prevent
      these publicly supported schools from
      using Waldorf methods in their classrooms.  In their suit, PLANS
      alleged that Waldorf education teaches anthroposophy, and that
      anthroposophy is a religion.  The United States Constitution prohibits
      the support of any religion by the government, and the courts have
      traditionally held that religious instruction in publicly supported
      schools is not allowed by law.

      Although the Anthroposophical Society in America is not a direct party
      in the case, it acted because the court will be asked to decide whether
      anthroposophy is a religion.  "It is important to set the record
      straight, especially in U.S. Federal court, because legal precedent
      will be established regarding the nature of anthroposophy," said Jean
      Yeager, Administrative Director of the Anthroposophical Society in
      America.  The Society's brief speaks only to the question of whether
      anthroposophy is a
      religion, and is based on strong evidence from Rudolf Steiner and
      others that anthroposophy is not intended to be a religion, and that
      membership in the Anthroposophical Society is open to followers of all
      faiths.  The two school districts are contesting PLANS assertions in
      regard to other aspects of Waldorf education.

      PLANS' suit was dismissed in 1999, but it appealed this decision and
      the upper court sent the case back to the Federal District Court. A
      trial was scheduled for September 2004.  However, PLANS has asked the
      court for an immediate summary judgment based on the evidence at hand.
      The school districts' attorneys are scheduled to  respond to this
      motion on July 30.

      The Society has also engaged an expert witness to speak to the issue of
      whether anthroposophy is a religion.  He is Prof. Douglas Sloan,
      emeritus Professor of History and Education and emeritus Director for
      the Study of the Spiritual Foundations of Education at Teachers
      College, Columbia University, New York.  Prof. Sloan has prepared a
      well-documented refutation
      of the assertion that anthroposophy is a religion, or has the
      characteristics of a religion.
      ______________________________________________
      Anthroposophy on the Net: If you would like to join our email list and
      receive announcements, advertise an event, or be deleted from our email
      address list, please send us an email at anthroposophy on the net or
      write to us at 7618 Southcliff Drive, Fair Oaks, CA. 95628. (916)
      962-0755 / the Editor / Randolph McCready.
      ______________________________________________
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