Monday, August 29, 2005

Christian Schools Sue University of California Over Admissions

Last Thursday, the Calvary Chapel Christian School in Murrieta, California along with the Association of Christian Schools International filed suit in federal district court in Los Angeles against the University of California system alleging violations of plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights. California newspapers, including the Long Beach Press Telegram, the San Diego Union-Tribune and the Los Angeles Times have reported on the lawsuit which alleges unconstitutional discrimination by UC admissions officials against the Christian perspective in various courses offered by Christian schools.

The UC system requires entering students to have completed certain high school science, English and history courses in order to be admitted, though those who have not can try to obtain admission based solely on their SAT scores. The Universities last year began sending a form letter to many Christian high schools indicating that some courses they teach will not be accepted as meeting the universities’ minimum standards. Courses using two popular Christian biology textbooks that challenge evolution are not acceptable. UC says that the outlines in courses using these are “not consistent with the viewpoints and knowledge generally accepted in the scientific community.” The UC system also rejected a Calvary Chapel Christian School history course titled "Christianity's Influence on American History”, an English course titled “Christianity and Morality in American Literature” and a government course titled “Special Providence: American Government”. [Thanks to Ed Brayton and Allen Asch via Religionlaw listserv for leads on this posting.]