High School Students Sue UC System For Not
Accepting Credits From Religious-Themed Classes
Students from a Christian high school are suing to force the state university system to accept credits from religious-themed classes.
The six students from Calvary Chapel Christian School about 80 miles southeast of Los Angeles claim the University of California system violated their rights to free speech, religion and association and equal protection.
They cite UC’s decision to dismiss as “too narrow” high-school classes such as “Christianity’s Influence on American History” while approving courses from other schools such as “Ethnic Experience in Literature.”
“This is a case in which a university system is unfairly denying college credit … because of the viewpoints expressed through the teaching of certain courses,” says Robert H. Tyler, co-counsel for the plaintiffs.
UC administrators decided not to recognize the course work after examining the curriculum between October 2004 and July 2005.
“The problem with these courses isn’t that there is some Christianity in them,” says Christopher M. Patti, a lawyer in the office of the UC general counsel in Oakland. “The problem is that they don’t teach the subject matter, [such as] biology.”
Universities and religious high schools throughout the country are closely watching the suit because it could affect college admission standards nationwide.
“The stakes are very high here because other colleges and universities across the nation look to the University of California system for guidance and trends,” says Steven Roy Goodman, an educational consultant in Washington, D.C.
No UC campus has turned down a Calvary student for a lack of acceptable credits. Calvary offers UC-approved courses in core subjects such as history and literature, but the students argue they are being illegally prevented from taking the courses with a Christian perspective.
— Associated Press
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