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January 27, 2005 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.-Some media reports have incorrectly characterized the lawsuit filed on behalf of teacher Stephen Williams against the Cupertino Union School District as challenging a complete ban by the school of the Declaration of Independence from the entire school. That characterization is wrong.

The text of our Nov. 23, 2004, news release on this lawsuit clearly stated that Mr. Williams was prohibited from using the Declaration in his classroom despite having sound academic reasons to do so. Additionally, the actual complaint is a public document and is (and has been) available at our Web site at

What is at issue in this lawsuit is not the reputation or general quality of education at Stevens Creek Elementary School, where Mr. Williams teaches. It is the question of whether school officials violated the U.S. Constitution when they placed particular limitations upon Mr. Williams-and only Mr. Williams-pertaining to the teaching of his class. This is the question that led to informal efforts to resolve the problem and, when those failed, to court.

After the lawsuit was filed, extensive media coverage and a vigorous public debate developed on the issue. Unfortunately, some people expressed themselves in a hateful, angry manner toward the school and others involved in the controversy. ADF deplores such uncivilized behavior on all fronts: such crude behavior by any person does nothing to further reasoned discussion of the fundamental rights at issue.