Lane v. Sabine Parish School Board

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Lane v. Sabine Parish School Board
Decided: 14 March 2014

Lane v. Sabine Parish School Board is a lawsuit against the Sabine Parish School Board, filed on behalf of Scott and Sharon Lane by the American Civil Liberties Union in January 2014 in response to discrimination by Negreet High School in Negreet, Louisiana against their son, C.C. The family is Buddhist and of Thai heritage, but C.C.'s science teacher, Rita Roark, regularly taught that the Bible was "100 percent true" and promoted young Earth creationism.

Roark would feature Christianity-related questions on her science tests, and when C.C. failed to fill in the expected answers, Roark would belittle him in front of the class, even going so far as to insult Buddhism, calling it "stupid". When his parents objected to this, the Sabine Parish superintendent Sara Ebarb told them "this is the Bible Belt", and suggested that the family either convert to Christianity or move to another school. The family did in fact move later to protect their son from the school's incredibly hostile environment to those not of their faith.

Many legal commentators noted that, despite Sabine Parish's wish to battle this out in court, "they had no legal defense", as the school policies were undoubtedly placed to turn the school into a platform for religion. For instance, when one of the tests that Rita Roark gave bore the question "ISN'T IT AMAZING WHAT THE _____________ HAS MADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" , C.C.'s failure to give the teacher the answer she wanted apparently gave the teacher justification to belittle him in front of the class for his beliefs.

Needless to say, the US district court ruled against the school board. On 14 March 2014, Sabine Parish was ordered to end its discriminatory policies and pay for the cost of transferring C.C. to another school.

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