TEA lawsuit dismissal upheld
A federal appeals court on Friday upheld a lower court’s decision to toss out a lawsuit by former Texas Education Agency science director Chris Comer, who argued that the agency’s neutral position on teaching creationism was unconstitutional. Her lawsuit was dismissed last year.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the agency’s policy does not violate the First Amendment’s religious freedom clause because it does not advance or inhibit the practice of religion.
Comer, who ran the agency’s science curriculum for nine years, resigned in November 2007 after supervisors threatened to fire her for forwarding an e-mail touting a speaker who was critical of teaching creationism and intelligent design in public schools.
Comer filed suit in 2008 arguing that agency’s neutrality policy violated the First Amendment because it in effect endorsed religion. Comer also said threatening her job violated her right to carry out her duties free of a state policy that promoted religion.