Yesterday afternoon, United States District Court Judge Charles Breyer of San Francisco issued an order denying part of California state officials’ motion to dismiss the Complaint brought by California Parents for the Equalization of Educational Materials (CAPEEM) and three parents of California schoolchildren that challenges the unconstitutional denigration of Hinduism in the state’s Curriculum Standards and Framework.
State officials sought dismissal of all four of the constitutional claims and the Court granted the dismissal of three of them. The claim that the curriculum violates the First Amendment’s command that government cannot denigrate a religion will go forward. The Court held that “the allegations [in the Complaint] support a reasonable inference that a reasonable and informed sixth grader would consider the content of the Standards and the Framework to have a primary effect of conveying a message of disapproval of Hinduism.”
Glenn Katon, the attorney for CAPEEM and the parents, was pleased that they would be able to proceed to gather additional evidence and prove that the State’s inferior treatment of Hinduism violates the First Amendment. “The Court’s ruling that we have stated a valid constitutional claim is an important step toward getting the State to treat Hinduism with the same care and dignity that its curriculum gives to other faiths.”
“The Court’s acknowledgment of the harm the current curriculum does to Hindu children is very important to us,” said Arvind Kumar, a Director for CAPEEM. “We’re hopeful this case will lead to changes that will prevent that harm from continuing.”
The Court’s decision can be found here.
For media inquiries, contact Glenn Katon at firstname.lastname@example.org or (510) 463-3350.