Lincoln Park High: Victory for Witches|
Posted: March 23rd. 1999
Times Viewed: 19,797
For Immediate Release
March 22, 1999
The Witches' Voice
The Witches' Voice welcomes today's announcement by the ACLU of Michigan that the case brought forward by Teen Witch Crystal Seifferly against the Lincoln Park School District has been satisfactorily settled.
U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen
declared the terms of the "consent judgment" as follows:
"This judgment should send the clear and concise message to all public school districts that policies which single out any religion, religious symbol or other mode of religious expression for restriction will not go unchallenged," stated TWV Chairperson, Rev. Wren Walker. "Religious freedom as guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States applies to all religions and religious beliefs equally. This right has once again been verified and reinforced here today."
- The words "Pagans" and "Witches" will be removed from the Lincoln Park policy.
- An exception is made for students wearing "jewelry or other symbols in the profession of their religion."
- Students do not need to initiate the contact informing the administration of their religious preference. If the student is approached by the administration or a security officer, the student simply needs to inform them the symbols are for the professing of their religion.
- The school agrees to pay the ACLU attorneys fees.
- The school will republish the policy within five school days.
"Public school students who express an deep religious belief quite simply are guaranteed their rights under a "higher authority" than that allocated to the local school board."
"The settlement terms announced today," added TWV President Fritz Jung, "should aid in setting a new standard on how similar types of school code policies will be implemented in the future."
The Witches' Voice
P.O. Box 4924
Clearwater, FL 33758-4924
Visit the W.A.D.L. (Witches Anti-Discrimination League) Home Page
to read their statement on this case.
From American Civil Liberties Union
For Immediate Release
For more information contact:
Kary L. Moss, Executive Director or Tom Schram,
Public Education Director (313-961-7728)
http://www.aclumich.org/ March 22, 1999
Lincoln Park Changes Policy On Witch
As part of a settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union, Lincoln Park High School changed its policy prohibiting the wearing of pentagrams Monday, allowing senior Crystal Seifferly to outwardly wear the symbol of her religion for the first time since October.
At a March 2 hearing before U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen, the ACLU argued that the district's policy violated Seifferly's religious rights. Seifferly, 17, is an honor student and a witch - a member of the Wicca religion. Wiccans consider pentacles - five-pointed stars enclosed in a circles - icons of their religion.
On Monday, Lincoln Park High School agreed to make an exception to its gang policy for students wearing religious jewelry or other symbols as a profession of their religion. It did away with the provision of its policy that stated that pagans and witches are inappropriate in a school setting. And it agreed to pay attorney's fees to the ACLU.
"I'm happy; I'm pleased; I'm glad it's over," Seifferly said. "The longer it went on and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it wasn't just about me and just about Wicca. It was about a lot of other people and religions," she said.
ACLU Michigan Executive Director Kary L. Moss applauded the school district for amending the policy and Seifferly for bringing the issue to the forefront.
"We are pleased that Lincoln Park High School recognizes the importance of religious freedom for its students. Ms. Siefferly should be applauded for her courage in standing up for what she believes is right."
The Wicca religion has been recognized in United States courts and by the United States Army Chaplain's Handbook. It stresses individual enlightenment and celebrates the seasons and the four elements: earth, wind, fire and water. Proselytization is forbidden.
Founded in 1920, the American Civil Liberties Union is the nation's foremost advocate of individual rights -- litigating, legislating, and educating the public on a broad array of issues affecting individual freedom in the United States.
Article ID: 2302
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 5,975
Times Read: 19,797
Location: Tampa, Florida
Other Articles: Wren has posted 318 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Wren... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2015 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wren’s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).