The Lawsuit
(jump to current status)

On 22nd November 2004 Stephen Williams, a fifth-grade teacher at Stevens Creek Elementary filed a lawsuit at Federal District Court against principal Patricia Vidmar and other named members of the Cupertino Union District School Board. The suit alleged violation of Mr. Williams First Amendment rights to freedom of religious expression, and his Fourteenth Amendment rights to equality of treatment.

The Cupertino Union School district is declining to comment on the lawsuit before it goes to court. As parents of the school, we are not in a position to provide details, but would like to make the following clarifications:

A number of parents complained about proselytization by Mr. Williams in his 5th grade class. The exact number of complaints is unknown to us, but we are aware of at least three parents who independently approached the principal. We are unable to pass judgment on the merits of these complaints.

Mrs. Vidmar has a responsibility to investigate such complaints. We know Mrs. Vidmar to be a fair and reasonable person, who is highly supportive of her staff. We are confident that her eventual decision to review Mr. Williams' lesson plans will be shown to be balanced and moderate. It is unknown to us whether lessons were reviewed on the basis of religious content, age-appropriateness, or other factors.

The lawsuit alleges that Mr. Williams was singled out for discriminatory treatment because of his Christianity. We would like to point out that Mr. Williams is not the only devout Christian teacher at Stevens Creek; he is not even the only Christian 5th grade teacher.

Because this is a legal process, progress of the lawsuit will not be discussed in detail here. We are merely hoping to keep Stevens Creek parents aware of the timeline of events. If you have update news, please contact "webmaster" at ""

Current status: Some of these links require       

August 12th, 2005

VICTORY! The ADF has dropped their lawsuit. Various press coverage

April 28th, 2005

Judge Ware's written opinion is published. It confirms that the three original claims are dismissed.

March 30, 2005

In a major victory for the school community, Judge James Ware indicated he would dismiss all three of the original allegations in the lawsuit. A single remaining allegation, which was added in January, will be considered in October of this year. Cupertino Courier coverage of the hearing

January 31, 2005

The CUSD has submitted a Motion to Dismiss the lawsuit.    Read the news release here (requires Acrobat)   and   The actual filing.

January 14, 2005

The CUSD has been granted 20 additional days to respond to the lawsuit.

January 5, 2005

The ADF has refiled an amended lawsuit, and moved venue to San Jose, CA.

December, 2004.

The Cupertino Union School District (CUSD) has requested until January 14th to respond to the lawsuit.

November 22, 2004.

The Alliance defense Fund (ADF) has filed a lawsuit, "Williams v. Vidmar", in Federal Court in Oakland, CA.

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