Random thoughts on Fisk v. Delta

By John Wilkenson

Being a 1st Amendment absolutist in the school of Thomas Jefferson and William O. Douglas, I found the the story about Cidney Fisk's lawsuit against Delta County School District 50J, et al, absolutely fascinating.

For a non-lawyer, I have done quite a bit of research on the 1st Amendment and related case law, as might be ascertained from the "Legal Disclaimer" page of this website, so, for me, trying to find the line between a student's right to express her opinion, and a teacher's right to control the classroom, teach the curriculum and prevent counterproductive disruptions is an extremely interesting exercise.

The story that first got me interested in this case appeared in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel on Tuesday, September 26, 2017, was titled "Atheist student sues Delta schools", and was written by Erin McIntyre.

What got me going was the way the story was written. It left out WAY too much of the most interesting information, and, in my opinion, leaned too much toward the world view of the religion-hating Freedom From Religion Foundation without being transparent about the wannabe-subtle propaganda.

The Sentinel's article left me with too many unanswered obvious questions like who are the girl's parents, and who is paying for her self-described-as "super lawyers"?

The Media

Cidney Fisk Sues the Delta County School District - Anne Landman's Blog, "Alternative News and Views from Western Colorado" - (NOTE: Anne has a well designed and informative website. Speaking as an Anarcho Christian, your humble webmaster and "Atheist Anne", being pretty much opposites, most likely disagree ideologically on almost every point possible, but fair-minded people will never hesitate to freely give the "devil" her due.)

What it’s Like to be a Student with a Brain in the Delta County School District - Anne Landman's Blog, "Alternative News and Views from Western Colorado" - (NOTE: Here, Anne Landman is showing off her cutesy demonization skills and combatively dogmatic attitude, because the silly notion that Delta High School has only one student with a brain while all "religious" students are brainless yokels is laughable on its face. But that's the kind of propaganda one can expect from people who hate religion.)

Atheist student sues Delta schools, by Erin McIntyre - The Daily Sentinal

Schools give the devil his due -- Bible giveaway riles nonbelievers, and there may be hell to pay, by Erin McIntyre - The Daily Sentinal

Former Delta student claims she was punished for atheist views; sues school -- Cidney Fisk sues Delta County school claiming teachers retaliated for atheistic views - The Denver Post

Atheist Colorado student sues school district for discrimination - Reuters

Colorado Student Sues Her Old School District for Anti-Atheist Discrimination - Friendly Atheist

Cidney videos

Cidney Fisk - YouTube video

Cidney Fisk_Delta Dems JJ Dinner Speaker-Pro Bernie sanders - YouTube video

Cidney quotes

At least at the time of the above videos, Cidney was a registered Democrat and a Bernie Sanders supporter and campaigner who admitted to being "a little angry". Here are a few quotes from an allegedly "damaged" and "depressed" high schooler:

"I believe that Bernie Sanders is the future of this nation."
"Some of you might have seen me going around to speak door to door asking you to caucus for Bernie Sanders. And in a conservative area with adverse teachers, that's been a little scary."
"The things Bernie Sanders is proposing are universal health care, lower cost of education and really, really -- [yes, like TOTALLY Valley Girl, man, she really did throw in two "reallies" -- Your humble webmaster] -- smart foreign policy.

To me, at least, it looks like the precocious, bubbley, charming, good looking Cidney is merely parroting stuff she thinks the adults in her life want her to say. No offense intended, but, IMO, she is too young to understand a good foreign policy if it bit her in the behind. I am completely unable to see any evidence of "temporary and permanent psychological injury" as alleged in Point #97 of her complaint.

The Complaint

To have a realistic idea of what is really going on, it is important to read (not merely scan) the complaint.

Points #95-97 allege as follows:
"95. The conduct of the individual Defendants complained of herein was willful, wanton and/or malicious."
"96. The summer of 2016, as a direct and proximate result of the conduct of the Defendants, Ms. Fisk suffered two anxiety attacks that required medical treatments, including hospitalization, and required psychological attention. She sought out and received psychological attention. She was prescribed anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication and a heart monitor by her primary care physician and other medical care providers for these conditions."
"97. As a direct and proximate result of the conduct of the Defendants, in addition to the denial and violations of her constitutional rights, Ms. Fisk suffered and endured great harassment and humiliation, great fear from threats to her life and well being, great and prolonged stress and anxiety, great emotional and psychological pain and distress, depression, temporary and permanent psychological injury, lost and diminished enjoyment of life, expenses for past, current, and future medical and psychological treatments, lost opportunity to attend the higher education institutions of her choice, future lost income, and other injuries."

Wow! What a TOTAL load of crap! Lest I receive prog/lib death threats for my openly sceptical analysis of Fisk versus Delta, let me tell you the sad story of my own freshman year at what was then Mesa College (derisively referred to by some wannabe-witty students as "North Avenue University").

To my personal humiliation, I was always a severe academic underachiever. When my family returned from being dental missionaries in Africa, because the schools I attended were strict, I tested out two grades ahead of my age group. But because my parents and teachers didn't want to put me in with kids two year older than I was, I was put in the 5th grade at age 10. I had a habit of doing well during my first year at a new school and then disintegrating from there as I acclimated socially, so my best years were 5th grade, 7th grade and 10th grade, while my worst years were 9th grade and 12th grade.

I started at Mesa College as an engineering major. During the second quarter of my freshman year (I was in AP math), I thought I had the highest B in both math and chemistry. To my eternal horror, when I got my report card, I had 5 hours of "F" in math, and 5 hours of "F" in chemistry. My crime/sin? Disobeying a couple of chicken-livered, petty and control-freakish rules by my math and chemistry professors. I cut two 8 a.m. labs -- I made up for those two missed lab sessions on my own time/schedule and had an "A" in lab -- and I hastily miscounted and had only 68% of my math problems worked in a notebook instead of the required 70%. I appealed to both professors without relief. I appealed to the dean of men (later a local Good Old Boy politician) without relief. Years later, at a Christmas party, I spoke with the dean of students who told me I should have appealed one more step because he would have prevented the injustice which, if I were Cidney Fisk, I could have alleged "ruined my life". The massive injustice which I "suffered and endured" had to do with autocratic authority and disordered control freakism, not "religion", and it caused me to change my major from engineering to political science. Oh, woe, the shame of it all! And just after I had determined in my heart to start being a diligent student instead of an underachiever. Oh well ... that's life. The thought of suing the college and my professors never entered my head.

In Cidney's case, I suspect poor parental mentoring, not teacher retaliation. It is easy to see from her videos that she is, if anything, very attractive, "bubbley" and precocious, not depressed, damaged or appearance-challenged.

She had a 4.1 GPA, and, was ostensibly getting involved in academia to investigate competing and opposing ideas, theories and philosophies.

I don't believe for one New York second that any of Cidney's teachers were "malicious". People don't become teachers out of malice. Nor do I believe that the Defendant's alleged behavior was based on religion. I believe it was much more likely based on tactless, undiplomatic confrontations against perceived authority. Government doesn't like challenges to its perceived "authority", and we have to remember we are talking about government school teachers here.

Let me defuse a couple of potential prog/lib manipulations right off the bat: 1) death threats are a crime and perps should be prosecuted, 2) manipulations of grades as retaliation are wrong and unacceptable for any reason, and 3) manipulation by grades as retaliation is distinctly UNCHRISTIAN. Punishment for disruptive or discourteous behavior can be meted out in any number of acceptable ways, including detention, suspension, and/or expulsion. But to give a student who scored an A+ on a test an F is purely unacceptable disordered control-freak behavior deserving of termination.

Unanswered questions

Perhaps the most important factor in this bruhaha is context, and in order to know the accurate context, we need the answer to a few unanswered questions such as:

1) Who is paying for Cidney's "Super Lawyers"? Most super lawyers don't take cases on a contingency basis unless there's a smoking gun or a forceps sewn up inside a patient. Lawyers aren't in the business to lose money. So it makes sense that, unless Cidney's parents have money, SOMEBODY is paying for her lawyers. The number one suspect in my mind would be the manipulative religion-hating so-called "Freedom From Religion Foundation" and/or their local fellow travellers in the Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers group.

2. If Cidney Fisk was so seriously harmed by her Christian teachers, as alleged in Points #96 and #97 of the complaint, that she had to go into a hospital for treatment, how did she manage to get into Harvard?

3. Once in Harvard, how/why was her leaving before graduating related in any logical way to her Christian high school teachers?

4. I suspect Fisk v. Delta is a straw man and not a genuine violation-of-civil-rights case. I suspect that it's an organized covert harassing action by some religion-hating group or groups who are offended by the existence of Christian teachers in the Delta County School District. If my suspicion is correct, that group would probably lack Flast standing to sue, and would need to find a sympathetic and charismatic "victim" whom they would be perceived as nobly defending against powerful oppressors.

Regarding discrimination

It is the official written policy of the Delta County School District to not illegally discriminate:
"In compliance with Titles VI & VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and Colorado law, Delta County School District does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, creed, age, marital status, sexual orientation (which includes transgender), genetic information, conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth, disability or need for special education services in admissions, access to, treatment, or employment in educational programs or activities which it operates."

Fairness demands that the discrimination referred to in the above written policy is discrimination against enrolling at a Delta school. There is nothing in the policy that remotely suggests teachers and students have to be in agreement with their world views and/or political philosophies. To the contrary, academia is where competing and opposing ideas are supposed to be freely and openly discussed and debated.

Regarding the 1st Amendment

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." ~ 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

It should be self-evident to all but political propaganda manipulators what those words mean. In other words, the government is prohibited from 1) declaring an official state religion, and 2) interfering with individuals practicing their own preferred religions.

There is not one word about prohibiting government officers and/or employees from freely expressing their personal beliefs just because they work for the government. Obviously they are prohibited from using their official government powers to coerce non-governmental individuals in any particular direction regarding religion. The key word, of course, is "coerce", which, equally obviously does not include free and open discussion of IDEAS in an academic atmosphere (which is supposed to be what goes on during the process of so-called "education" in so-called "schools", public or private).

Haters of so-called "religion", such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation, have, as a deliberate political strategy, misused the phrase "a wall of separation between Church & State" used by Thomas Jefferson in his letter responding to a letter from the Danbury Baptists expressing their concern that government power might be used by unscrupulous men to repress their religious freedom. See also "The Mythical 'Wall of Separation': How a Misused Metaphor Changed Church–State Law, Policy, and Discourse", by Daniel Dreisbach, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

The first time Jefferson's famous "wall of separation" phrase was referenced by the U.S. Supreme Court was by Chief Justice Waite in Reynolds v. U.S., 98 U.S. 145 (1878): "Mr. Jefferson afterwards, in reply to an address to him by a committee of the Danbury Baptist Association (8 id. 113), took occasion to say: 'Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God; that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship; that the legislative powers of the government reach actions only, and not opinions, - I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State."

Two other U.S. Supreme Court cases which used Jefferson's metaphor to distort the original meaning of the 1st Amendment were, Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947), and McCollum v. Board of Education, 333 U.S. 203 (1948). See also "How Thomas Jefferson's 'Wall of Separation' Redefined Church-State Law and Policy", by Daniel L. Dreisback, who wrote:

"The judiciary's reliance on an extraconstitutional metaphor as a substitute for the text of the First Amendment almost inevitably distorts constitutional principles governing church-state relationships. Although the 'wall of separation' may felicitously express some aspects of First Amendment law, it seriously misrepresents or obscures others. In Thomas Jefferson and the Wall of Separation Between Church and State, I contend that the wall metaphor mischievously misrepresents constitutional principles in at least two important ways:"

"First, Jefferson's trope emphasizes separation between church and state--unlike the First Amendment, which speaks in terms of the nonestablishment and free exercise of religion. Jefferson's Baptist correspondents, who agitated for disestablishment but not for separation, were apparently discomfited by the figurative phrase and, perhaps, even sought to suppress the president's letter. They, like many Americans, feared that the erection of such a wall would separate religious influences from public life and policy. Few evangelical dissenters (including the Baptists) challenged the widespread assumption of the age that republican government and civic virtue were dependent on a moral people and that morals could be nurtured only by the Christian religion."

"Second, a wall is a bilateral barrier that inhibits the activities of both the civil government and religion--unlike the First Amendment, which imposes restrictions on civil government only. In short, a wall not only prevents the civil state from intruding on the religious domain but also prohibits religion from influencing the conduct of civil government. The various First Amendment guarantees, however, were entirely a check or restraint on civil government, specifically on Congress. The free press guarantee, for example, was not written to protect the civil state from the press, rather it was designed to protect a free and independent press from control by the national government. Similarly, the religion provisions were added to the Constitution to protect religion and religious institutions from corrupting interference by the national government and not to protect the civil state from the influence of, or overreaching by, religion. As a bilateral barrier, however, the wall unavoidably restricts religion's ability to influence public life, and, thus, it necessarily exceeds the limitations imposed by the Constitution."

"Herein lies the danger of this metaphor. The 'high and impregnable' wall constructed by the modern Court has been used to inhibit religion's ability to inform the public ethic, deprive religious citizens of the civil liberty to participate in politics armed with ideas informed by their spiritual values, and infringe the right of religious communities and institutions to extend their prophetic ministries into the public square. The wall has been used to silence the religious voice in the public marketplace of ideas and to segregate faith communities behind a restrictive barrier."

"If, as I have argued, the wall is a profoundly flawed metaphor for First Amendment doctrine, then should we search for a better, alternative metaphor, such as James Madison's "line of separation"? I think not. Although other tropes may yield interesting insights, we are best served by returning to the text of the First Amendment." ~ Daniel L. Dreisbach. See Professor Dreisbach's impressive curriculum vitae HERE and compare it to the local religion haters who are trying to stir up trouble for the Delta County School District.

So the question arises in Fisk v. Delta as to where was/is the line to be drawn between teachers accused of "illegally" -- (according to the lying revisionist-history judiciaries' version of the 1st Amendment) -- proselytizing their religious views versus an atheistic student accused of being couterproductively disruptive in her open and public challenges to the authority of school officials?

Hopefully the facts will come out in court. And, as every good lawyer should know, and as was pointed out by Jerome Frank in his "must read" book, "Courts on Trial - Myth and Reality in American Justice", the facts of any given case determine what law applies to that case.

Some educational U.S. Supreme Court decisions

Pickering v. Board of Education, 391 U.S. 563 (1968)

Keyishian v. Board of Regents, 385 U.S. 589 (1967)
“The problem in any case is to arrive at a balance between the interests of the teacher, as a citizen, in commenting upon matters of public concern and the interest of the State, as an employer, in promoting the efficiency of the public services it performs through its employees.”
“Academic freedom is a special concern of the First Amendment, which does not tolerate laws that cast a pall of orthodoxy over the classroom.”

Adler v. Board of Educ. of City of New York, 342 U.S. 485 (1952)

Tinker v. Des Moines Idep. Comty. Sch. Dist., 393 U.S. 503 (1969)
“I would, in cases like this, cast upon those complaining the burden of showing that a particular school measure was motivated by other than legitimate school concerns -- for example, a desire to prohibit the expression of an unpopular point of view, while permitting expression of the dominant opinion.” ~ Justice Harlan dissenting

Connick v. Myers, 461 U.S. 138 (1983)
“The State's burden in justifying a particular discharge varies depending upon the nature of the employee's expression”

Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410, 417 (2006)

Monell v. Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658 (1978)
(NOTE: On page 24 of the complaint, plaintiff's lawyers referred to "MONELL CLAIMS". "Super interested" amateur law geeks might want to read the case upon which some of the "super lawyers'" claims are based.)

Free Speech Rights of Public School Teachers in Washington State

Election 2016: What Teachers Can and Cannot Do

Regarding Atheism

I don't have the slightest problem with agnosticism -- (holding that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable) -- because it's an intellectually honest postition, and, truth be known, nobody really knows anything about the First Causes of the Universe, or the existence of the human species. It's all supposition, and, in the case of so-called "religion", it's all hope/faith, albeit in some cases, logic-based.

Not so with so-called "atheism". Atheism = dogma, and dogma = manipulation.

On page 222 of The Road Less Traveled (ISBN 0-671-24086-2 [cloth]  ISBN 0-671-25067-1 [pbk]),  M. Scott Peck wrote a profoundly insightful and moving paragraph:
“There is clearly a lot of dirty bath water surrounding the reality of GodHoly wars. Inquisitions. Animal sacrificeHuman sacrifice.  Superstition. Dogmatism.  Ignorance. Hypocrisy. Self-righteousness. Rigidity. Cruelty. Book-burning. Witch-burning. Inhibition. Fear.  Conformity. Morbid guilt.  Insanity. The list is almost endless. But is all this what God  has done to humans or what humans have done to God?  It is abundantly evident that belief in God is often destructively dogmatic. Is the problem, then, that humans tend to believe in God, or is the problem that humans tend to be dogmatic (aka coercive — JRW)? Anyone who has known a died [sic]-in-the wool atheist will know that such an individual can be as dogmatic about unbelief as any believer can be about belief. Is it belief in God we need to get rid of, or is it dogmatism?”

Neither theists nor atheists can "prove" (with material evidence) a single thing to each other, so politicizing the issue, as is being done in Cidney Fisk's lawsuit is pointless and counterproductive.

My own theory is that dogmatists, be they theist or atheist, have some sort of emotional issue they don't want to confront with intellectual honesty. Maybe their mothers weaned them too soon. Who knows?

A couple of examples of the theist dogma is that "infidels should be killed", or "Wherefore if thine hand cause thee to offend, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life, maimed, than having two hands, to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched, Where their [a]worm dieth not, and the fire never goeth out. Likewise, if thy foot cause thee to offend, cut it off: it is better for thee to go halt into life, than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched, Where their worm dieth not, and the fire never goeth out. And if thine eye cause thee to offend, pluck it out: it is better for thee to go into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire, Where their worm dieth not, and the fire never goeth out" (Mark 9:43-48, 1599 Geneva Bible).

The Judeo-Christian manipulation and control mechanism is that the unrepentant sinner roasts in a fire-and-brimstone hell forever. The Islamic version of the same thing is slightly more inventive in that the miscreant stands up to his/neck in boiling feces forever. For some reason, the atheists seem to have an emotion-based aversion to those ideas.

Personally, I started doubting the dogma I was raised with because it didn't seem fair that most of my best friends and relatives, basically good and decent people all, should be consigned to eternal torment merely for not believing the EXACT same religious tenets I was raised with.

Examples of atheist dogma lie in their deliberate/strategic perversion of the plain text of the 1st Amendment with fraudulent, revisionist-history "wall of separation" arguments precisely because they want to keep religion from influencing government while they simultaneously use government to destroy religion (for which they harbor and emotion-based hatred while pretending not to).

One thing many atheists, including Cidney Fisk, like to do is wear T-shirts with cute little intellectually deficient sayings on them, such as "I prefer science" without even realizing that many of history's greatest scientists were believers in what is now called "Intelligent Design". The list is far to long to detail in this essay, but rocket scientist Wernher von Braun, the inventor of the V-2 rocket for Germany and the Saturn V for the United States, had Psalms 19:1 -- "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork" -- engraved on his headstone.

I absolutely LOVE what Albert Einstein said when asked if he was an atheist:
“Your question is the most difficult in the world. It is not a question I can answer simply with yes or no. I am not an Atheist. I do not know if I can define myself as a Pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. May I not reply with a parable? The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe. We are in the position of a little child, entering a huge library whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written those books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of the human mind, even the greatest and most cultured, toward God. We see a universe marvelously arranged, obeying certain laws, but we understand the laws only dimly. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that sways the constellations. I am fascinated by Spinoza's Pantheism. I admire even more his contributions to modern thought. Spinoza is the greatest of modern philosophers, because he is the first philosopher who deals with the soul and the body as one, not as two separate things.” ~ Albert Einstein

See, boys and girls, REAL thinkers, Real philosophers, REAL "brains", are intellectually honest truth seekers who read each other's treatises and respond in writing with detailed and documented treatises of their own. They don't settle for wearing cutesy/manipulative little "I prefer science" T-shirts or letting adult political propagandists file politics-based lawsuits in their name and on their behalf.

For the purposes of this essay, I have dealt adequately with the arrogant and intellectually dishonest manipulations of atheism in my essays "What is an 'Anarcho-Christian'?", "On the Atheism Display at the Mesa County Public Library", and "On the Role of 'Religion' In Political Fraud".

The Freedom From Religion Foundation

At P.9, ¶36, Fisk's complaint says: "In 2016. after receiving a letter from an attorney with the FFRF which cited violations of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment...." I wondered what "FFRF" referred to because I didn't find it referenced anywhere else in the complaint. So I checked it out with Wikipedia and immediately came up with "Freedom From Religion Foundation".

"Of course!" I thought to myself. It would be just like the FFRF to have strategized this whole Fisk v. Delta bruhaha and be paying Cidney's "Super Lawyers" in anticipation of winning the case and recovering their expenditures. Curious minds want to know, but don't hold your breath. Lawyers tend to not like saying who's paying them.

Bigotry is Alive and Well in Grand Junction - Anne Landman's Blog, "Alternative News and Views from Western Colorado"

Grand Junction’s Satanic Invocation a Success, More Diversity Likely Coming Soon - Anne Landman's Blog, "Alternative News and Views from Western Colorado" - (NOTE: Fortunately, my good friend, Jeff McCloskey left a cogent comment on her article.)

Satanist gives invocation notable for lack of hellfire, by Erin McIntyre - The Daily Sentinal

“Hail Satan”: Grand Junction (CO) City Council Invocation Gets Positive Response - Friendly Atheist

Colorado Man Hails Satan in Presenting Invocation at City Council Meeting - Christian News

Satanist delivers historic invocation, hails Satan at Colorado council meeting (VIDEO - Russia Today

Colorado Man Scares Daylights Out Of City Council With Satanic Invocation - The Activist Mommy

GJ City Council allows satanic invocation at meeting - KKCO11

“Hail Satan!”: Satanist delivers historic invocation at Colorado council meeting - InSerbia

Satanic invocation at August 2, 2017 Grand Junction City Council meeting - YouTube video

The Lawyers

The lawyer pictured on the left is Jeffrey A. Springer, one of Cidney's "super lawyers" who signed her complain. The lawyer on the right is Harvey A. Steinberg, and did not sign her complaint. The other lawyer who signed her complaint is Andrew B. Reid and is not pictured in the above homepage banner/link but is pictured in the "Our People" section of the website.

The thing I like most about the website -- (amusing self-perceptions as being "super lawyers" aside) -- is the lawyers' listings of their reported cases. Very impressive, very cool!

My conclusions

I'm not a lawyer, so I can't give "legal" advice. I can, however, give political strategy advice and freely express my personal opinion/s regarding public issues and events such as lawsuits.

If I were advising the Defendants politically, I would strongly suggest that they not hire any lawyer who was reluctant to hire a top-notch investigator to vet the hell out of Cidney and her family and their associates for such things as arrest warrants, criminal convictions, mental problems, etc. I would want to know EXACTLY what kind of people and situation I was dealing with if I were a lawyer for the Defendants.

My two all-time favorite lawyers are Gerry Spence and the deceased Arthur L. Liman. In my view, if teachers did jack around with Cidney's grades, this case should be settled out of court for the smallest possible amount before attorney fees get too high. But, on the other hand, if I were going to engage in all-out legal warfare, I would want a couple of lawyers just like Spence and Liman if I were the defendants.

In my view, there is too much substantively irrelevant and unnecessary "fluff" in the complaint designed solely to demonize and intimidate the Defendants regarding any openness of their religious views in the workplace.

The political public relations crux of the issue is this: NEVER plead guilty to anything you didn't do. Any teacher, counsellor or principal who (if it can be proven) messed around with Cidney's grades should be thrown under the bus to settle the case. The manipulative "I-hate-religion" crap being promoted by the FFRF and the Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers about Christianity is just that, revisionist-history crap, and should not be overly feared. If the FFRF is paying Cidney's lawyers, there are religious-freedom-based organizations who defend religion under these kinds of circumstances where religion is being blatantly and obviously attacked. However these types of cause-oriented groups usually defend individuals against government instead of defending government against individuals (or, as I suspect, religion-hating groups like the FFRF, etc).

As a public relations matter, the Defendants need to be suspicious that they are dealing with the kind of people who would not hesitate to surreptitiously record their conversations, so they should ALWAYS be mindful to tell the whole truth on the witness stand to prevent Plaintiff's lawyers from pulling out tape recordings to impeach the testimony of a lying witness.

To understand that lawyers can always find "experts" willing to say anything for money, I would suggest reading Dr. Margaret A Hagen's eye-opening book, "Whores of the Court -- The Fraud of Psychiatric Testimony and the Rape of American Justice.

I would not like to see Cidney Fisk get one red cent out of the Delta taxpayers via higher insurance payments. I would like to see her learn from her experiences, grow into a serious academic instead of a pampered, precocious Valley-Girl-type pseudo politician. She needs to learn that SHE is in charge of her own education, not a couple of small-minded, control-freakish teachers (in the event that is what they are eventually determined by the facts of the case to be). She can jolly well learn from her adverse experiences, the same as I did during the second quarter of my freshman year in college.

I am eagerly looking forward to reading the briefs, including any briefs by Amici Curiae. But mostly I'm looking forward to seeing what relevant actual facts the Plaintiff's lawyers can prove.

As Matt Drudge likes to say, "developing...."

Regarding the freedom to publish this opinion/essay

Article II, Section 10. FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND PRESS ~ Colorado Constitution:
"No law shall be passed impairing the freedom of speech; every person shall be free to speak, write or publish whatever he will on any subject, being responsible for all abuse of that liberty; and in all suits and prosecutions for libel the truth thereof may be given in evidence, and the jury, under the direction of the court, shall determine the law and the fact."

Regarding the image/banners used in this opinion/essay

All images used in this essay are in compliance with the Fair Use Doctrine. For a tutorial on Fair Use I made for the benefit of a couple of control freaks in the Mesa County Sheriff's Department, see my essay titled, "Why I'm voting for Pat Arotin -- Part 2".

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Under construction . . .