Unfortunatly the web page has expired. For a full reprint, please
Contact the Mercury News.
However, it says in part:
You'd have thought that the district, with atheistic relish, had expunged all
references to religion and even banned the Declaration of Independence from
Stevens Creek Elementary. That's what the legal foundation representing teacher
Stephen Williams claimed in a sensational press release that set off an uproar
on talk radio and cable talk shows.
Now that U.S. District Court Judge James Ware has thrown out three of four
claims that Williams made, at least it has become clear what the case was
There was no basis for the claim that the district violated Williams' rights
of free speech and religious expression.
In his ruling last week, Ware noted that courts have ruled unequivocally that
school districts, not individual teachers, have authority to decide what can
be taught and what materials can be used in school.
There was no basis for the claim that the district was hostile to religion
because Patricia Vidmar, the principal, prohibited supplementary materials Williams
wanted to use, including an ``Easter Activity Sheet.''
The district didn't ban teaching about religion. The state American history curriculum
for fifth grade, which the district follows, includes an understanding of how religious
ideas helped bring about the Revolution. But Vidmar had a responsibility to ensure that
Williams didn't let his own personal religion color how history was taught.
There was no basis in claiming that the district's policy regarding the use of
supplementary materials was vague.
Ware found this claim ``disingenuous,'' since Stephens acknowledged that Vidmar
made it clear which materials were permissible and which weren't.