A private school in Galveston Texas is arguing in court that their wrist slap punishment for racist bullying falls under the protection of religious freedom. The school is using the so called ‘church autonomy doctrine’ in a highly unusual way according to legal experts. The case will be decided this month, and may establish a disturbing president. So begins the backward slide of progress, because, reminder,American churches used to teach mixed marriages were sin a short 50 years ago.
A lawsuit alleges that Trinity Episcopal School ignored Maureen Beans pleas for help as her son endured months of racist bullying as one of only a handful of black students at the majority white school. The bullying included a piece of White Hooded KKK orgami, and resulted in her son’s eventual emotional breakdown. His grades plummeted and at one point he was so distraught he spray painted the word “hate” in his room. After ignoring the problem for months, administrators gave in to Mrs. Beans pleas to address the situation. The students admitted to the bullying, but were only given a measly one day suspension.
According to legal experts, the schools choice to use religious exemption as a defense in this lawsuit is troubling and highly unusual. Traditionally the legal protections have allowed religious schools to have only male clergy teach for example. Robert Tuttle, professor of law and religion at George Washington University, said the schools type of interpretation would prevent pursuing sexual assault cases for example.
The school is claiming they can discipline what they want, how they want, even racist abuse saying, “The courts cannot second guess those decisions, even in the guise of purportedly ‘secular’ causes of action.” This case shows the immoral and backward ways that so called “Religious” types will resort to when their power and control are at stake.
By Being Liberal contributor: Sarah Ficca