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Sunday, August 28, 2005
ConWeb Ignores Lawsuit's Withdrawal
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Remember that lawsuit last fall claiming that a California teacher was allegedly forbidden to teach about the Declaration of Independence to his students because it mentioned God? Well, never mind.

Via Americans United, we learn that teacher Stephen Williams has withdrawn his lawsuit against the Cupertino, Calif., school district, and both sides have dismissed all claims. Williams resigned from his teaching position a few days later.

Williams was represented by the conservative Alliance Defense Fund, which declared in a press release announcing Williams' lawsuit that it was about "whether it's unconstitutional to read the Declaration of Independence in public school." But, as ConWebWatch has noted, it wasn't about that at all; Williams had a documented history of using his classroom to advance his religious views -- to the point where parents complained and the principal began reviewing Williams' lesson plans and handouts in advance -- and the Declaration of Independence excerpt (not the entire document) was one of several document excerpts Williams was using to demonstrate the Christian origins of the founders of the United States.

WorldNetDaily reprinted the Alliance Defense Fund's press releases without bothering to contact the school district for a response. NewsMax columnists Phil Brennan and Kathleen Antrim repeated the ADF's overblown accusations against the school district.

WND and NewsMax thus far refused to offer any original coverage of the lawsuit's withdrawal, let alone anything equal to their coverage of the ADF's original accusations, even though the ADF has issued another overblown press release on it. The ADF release claims that its agreement with the school district "allows teachers, no matter what their religious beliefs, to use appropriate educational material (including supplemental handouts of historical significance) during instructional time that has religious content," but the San Jose Mercury News points out that "No school policies were altered."

WND has hired ADF general counsel Alan Sears as a columnist. This would seem to guarantee that more overblown ADF allegations will be promulgated by the ConWeb -- and that its failures will be quietly buried.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:48 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, August 28, 2005 12:53 PM EDT

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