Friday, September 04, 2020

9th Circuit Upholds California School Curriculum On Hinduism

 In California Parents for the Equalization of Educational Materials v. Torlakson, (9th Cir., Sept. 3, 2020), the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of a suit claiming that California's History-Social Science Standards and Framework incorrectly describe Hinduism and treat it negatively in relation to the treatment of other religions. Rejecting plaintiffs' free exercise claims, the court said in part:

Appellants allegations suggest at most that portions of the Standards and Framework contain material Appellants find offensive to their religious beliefs. .... Offensive content that does not penalize, interfere with, or otherwise burden religious exercise does not violate Free Exercise rights. 

The court also rejected equal protection, due process and establishment clause challenges. Education Week reports on the decision.