Patt Morrison for February 11, 2011

Creationism, religious intolerance & the First Amendment go on trial at Capistrano Valley High

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Jason Holmberg/Flickr

James Corbett teaches AP European History at Capistrano Valley High School in Mission Viejo, CA

A legal battle over the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution started in an Orange County classroom when a history teacher, James Corbett, described creationism to his students as “superstitious nonsense.” A Christian student in the class, Chad Farnan, recorded the comment on an electronic device without Mr. Corbett’s permission or knowledge, and used it as evidence to successfully sue for violation of religious rights. The case will now be heard in federal appeals court while Mr. Corbett continues to teach Advanced Placement European History at Capistrano Valley High School.


Erwin Chemerinsky, Founding Dean of the UCI School of Law. He is a member of the defense team for James Corbett, a teacher at Capistrano Valley High School, being sued by his former student.

Jennifer Monk, Associate General Counsel with Advocates for Faith and Freedom, a non-profit law firm dedicated to protecting religious liberty in the courts. She is representing Chad Farnan, former student at Capistrano Valley High School.

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