Friday, December 01, 2006

4th Circuit Hears Arguments On Control Over Classroom Bulletin Boards

Yesterday the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in Lee v. York County School Division, raising the question of whether a Virginia high school teacher's rights were violated when his principal removed Christian-themed material from the bulletin board in the teacher's classroom. (See prior posting.) The Hampton Roads Daily Press reports that the censored items included articles about President Bush's religious faith and former Attorney General John Ashcroft's prayer meetings with his staff, a flyer about the National Day of Prayer and a depiction of George Washington praying at Valley Forge. Robert McFarland, attorney for the school system, argued that the principal could remove the postings because they were curricular in nature. Gary Bryant, representing the teacher, argued that the postings were non-curricular and that the principal engaged in viewpoint discrimination in deciding which postings were "too religious".