Buddhist Student, Religious Liberty Prevail In Louisiana

Imagine if your child was ridiculed in front of his classmates for his religious beliefs until he was physically ill. Can’t believe it? Neither could we, and that’s why the ACLU and the ACLU of Louisiana sued the Sabine Parish School District on behalf of C.C., a sixth-grader of Thai descent and a practicing Buddhist. You remember C.C.: He was chastised by teachers and administrators at his Louisiana public school for his religious beliefs. School officials also repeatedly, and illegally, imposed their religious beliefs on students in a number of ways.

Today, C.C. and his family won. A federal district court entered an order requiring the school district to refrain from unconstitutionally promoting or denigrating religion. The court’s order also mandates in-service training for school staff regarding their obligations under the First Amendment.

When we filed the lawsuit, many people were shocked by the allegations. In addition to denigrating C.C.’s Buddhist faith by calling it “stupid,” school officials suggested he should transfer to another school with “more Asians.” They also taught creationism in science class, incorporated prayer into class and nearly every school event, hung a portrait of Jesus over the main entryway, and participated in a number of other activities that blatantly violated the separation of church and state.  

The court’s order, which took the form of a “consent decree” agreed to by the school board, ensures that these unlawful practices will be discontinued in Sabine Parish and brings the case to a close. We applaud the board for doing right by C.C., his siblings, and all district students.

Unfortunately, however, not everyone has reacted to the lawsuit with the same measured consideration as the school board. While C.C. and his family have received much support from the community (including from some local congregations) and from across the country, they also have been harassed via crank calls to their house and work. And last month, C.C.’s mother Sharon was accosted while doing yard work: Three people wearing KKK-type white hoods drove by her and shouted, “You fucking nigger Asian-loving bitch.”

These incidents further highlight why it is so important that public schools throughout Louisiana, many of which continue to flout the law in this area, rethink their approach to religious liberty.  

Had Sabine Parish proactively sought to comply with the Constitution in the first place, the Lanes would not have been forced to expose their family to such vitriol, harassment, and intimidation simply to assert their fundamental rights. We hope their experience and the consent decree will serve as important tools to educate Louisiana’s educators – public school officials – about real religious liberty. 

Real religious liberty includes not only the right to express and practice your faith in school, which the consent decree protects, but also the right to be free from the religious coercion and alienation that occurs when a teacher or other school official tries to impose his or her beliefs during class or school events. Real religious liberty means that every child, regardless of faith, should feel welcome in our public schools.

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What the eff is wrong with the people in this country?!

from Richard, V...

Speaking as a person whose First Amendment rights IMO were flouted by the U.S. Army via the Government, I have this to say:

White hoods = Avoiding witnesses to the act = cowardice. They better make sure to where full uniform to hide the yellow streak running down their backs.

They did the same types of things to me after I returned from Nam, having done the Army's bidding via a Lottery pick of #12 and come home to angry doves AND hawks, people both for and against the war seemed to take issue with veterans.

Everyone in my neighborhood - or so it seemed - had words for me and not only me but my parents and other family members. It's why I moved to California without telling my parents at first.

I'm truly sorry for anyone who has to put up with such "people," who - again IMO - violate your right to feel safe in your own house, your own community just b/c you did something about which they beg to disagree.
I don't know if feeling safe is a constitutional right, I don't have education in Constitutional rights, but I know it felt pretty bad to return from Vietnam to discover I was seen as "no hero," spat on when I appeared off the base in uniform (whether they knew I'd been to Nam or not, it made no difference to them), and NOT supported by hawkish lawmakers who had no problem with just about any of it and kept looking for more meat to send to their war. That's what I got by way of thanks for fighting the rich men's war.

Consequently, I'm truly sorry to hear when other people are treated in kind.


The school itself had to hire secuirty guards after receiving threats towards the staff, and innocent students!
If the ACLU had tried to work it out in the first place instead of just jumping in with no discussion the school, staff and students and te alleged victim and family wouldn't have been harassed!
I was told one threat compared the school to columbine and ken said to lock the doors with the students in it and level it to the ground!
It's ridiculous all of it


The school and students and staff all received threats ..
They had to hire security guards! If the ACLU had tried to work it all out instead of just filing a suit no one would have received threats on either side ! But then they wouldn't have gotten so much publicity ? Right?

right wing and proud

Its funny how the Aclu attacks only one religion. Christianity. While promoting and protecting all other false religions. Why? Because Christianity is viewed as the white mans religion and all the other false religions are from colored races. They hate Jesus and the Bible. All liberals hate Jesus and Christianity. They are so intolerate. In fact I will be surprised if a radical, left-wing organization like the Aclu would even print dissent like this.


Fantastic news!


"right wing and proud" is a liar and an idiot. I doubt he has the balls to read any of ths: http://www.aclufightsforchristians.com

Vicki B.

I hate people who blame criminal behavior on everyone exCEPT the criminal.
The people made threats b/c THEY decided to do so, and NObody exCEPT the person who did it is to blame for it.
And since when is threatening someone a "christian thing to do?"

Thomas Sanders

Such a sad world we live, even this comment section shows the ignorance of the human race.

Pro-science atheist

Great news! If it weren't for the ACLU, "schools" like this would continue to trample on our bill of rights and indoctrinate children into their ideology of intolerance and bigotry, as demonstrated by the anti-ACLU comments here. Even better that the teachers will require re-education to learn how to do their jobs right for once.


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