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Thread: Student sues L.A. City College district over gay-marriage speech

  1. #1
    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Jul 2006

    Default Student sues L.A. City College district over gay-marriage speech

    Student sues L.A. City College district over gay-marriage speech - Los Angeles Times

    Weeks after Proposition 8 passed, student says, his public-speaking professor reacted inappropriately to his stance against same-sex unions. His lawyer alleges religious discrimination.
    By Gale Holland

    February 16, 2009

    A classroom dispute at Los Angeles City College in the emotional aftermath of Proposition 8 has given rise to a lawsuit testing the balance between 1st Amendment rights and school codes on offensive speech.

    Student Jonathan Lopez says his professor called him a "fascist bastard" and refused to let him finish his speech against same-sex marriage during a public speaking class last November, weeks after California voters approved the ban on such unions.

    When Lopez tried to find out his mark for the speech, the professor, John Matteson, allegedly told him to "ask God what your grade is," the suit says.

    Lopez also said the teacher threatened to have him expelled when he complained to higher-ups.

    In addition to financial damages, the suit, filed last week in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, seeks to strike down a sexual harassment code barring students from uttering "offensive" statements.

    Jean-Paul Jassy, a 1st Amendment lawyer in Los Angeles, said a number of cases have explored the tension between offensive speech and the expression of religious views. Often, he said, the decision depends on the specifics of the situation.

    "Free speech really thrives when people are going back and forth, disagreeing sometimes and sometimes finding things each other says offensive, but there are limits, particularly in a school setting," Jassy said after reviewing the lawsuit.

    Lopez, a Los Angeles resident working toward an associate of arts degree, is described in the suit as a Christian who considers it a religious duty to share his beliefs, particularly with other students. He declined to comment. Matteson could not be reached.

    Lopez is represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal organization based in Scottsdale, Ariz., and co-founded by evangelical leader James Dobson of Focus on the Family. The group also advised proponents of Proposition 8 and sued, unsuccessfully, to stop the release of the names and addresses of donors, who said they had been harassed during the weeks of demonstrations that followed the measure's passage.

    Alliance staff counsel David J. Hacker said Lopez was a victim of religious discrimination.

    "He was expressing his faith during an open-ended assignment, but when the professor disagreed with some minor things he mentioned, the professor shut him down," Hacker said. "Basically, colleges and universities should give Christian students the same rights to free expression as other students."

    Hacker said Alliance filed a similar suit in 2006 against Missouri State University over the school's attempt to discipline a Christian social-work student who refused to support adoptions by same-sex couples. The college settled the suit by, among other things, ordering an external review of the social-work program, Hacker said.

    The Los Angeles Community College District's offices were closed Friday for the Presidents Day holiday, and the general counsel, Camille A. Goulet, could not be reached. But in a letter to Alliance, the district said it deemed Lopez's complaint "extremely serious in nature" and had launched a private disciplinary process.

    In the letter, Dean Allison Jones also said that two students had been "deeply offended" by Lopez's address, one of whom stated that "this student should have to pay some price for preaching hate in the classroom."

    Hacker said the district's response was inadequate.

    "What they didn't do was ensure this wouldn't happen to other students," he said. "The dean accused Jonathan of offending other students."

    The suit names the Los Angeles Community College District, which operates nine campuses including L.A. City College; its board of trustees; Matteson; and various administrators. Lopez is asking for a jury trial.

  2. #2
    Gold Member Glitter's Avatar
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    Dec 2008
    Down the rabbit hole.


    I think teachers while allowed to their own opinion do not have the right to force feed them to their students. My older daughter had this problem at high school during the election. Her one teacher hated Obama because he was let's say not white, and because she said he supported no child left behind which we all know is completely false, my daughter even took her info. on that but she could not say one nice thing about Obama and thought Palin was great. She basically told my daughter that she was a left winged nutcase.
    Life is what happens to you
    While you're busy making other plans ~ John Lennon

  3. #3
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    In WhoreLand fucking your MOM


    I say let the little fascist shitbrain run his bigoted mouth and let the other students deal with him.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  4. #4
    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    Burning Down Your Windmill


    Its only fair, if the teacher had given that speechfesto he would have been fired and then sued.
    FUCK YOU AND GIVE ME MY GODDAMN VENTI TWO PUMP LIGHT WHIP MOCHA YOU COCKSUCKING WHORE BEFORE I PUNCH YOU IN THE MOUTH. I just get unpleasant in my car. - Deej Healthy is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

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