District Court: Case May Proceed Against College Official Who Denied Admission To Student After He Expressed Religious Beliefs in Interview | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

ACLJ Profile Completion

Verified

Defending Rights for the Discriminated

By Carly F. Gammill1427120936000

Last year we filed a lawsuit on behalf of Brandon Jenkins, a student who was denied admission to the Radiation Therapy Program at the Community College of Baltimore County (a public college) after he expressed a religious viewpoint during the program’s admissions process.

Because Mr. Jenkins had the academic credentials for admission to the program and received a high score on the other admissions requirements, he inquired as to the reason for his denial. To describe the response he received as surprising would be a gross understatement. It was jaw-dropping, and entirely inexcusable. In the exact words of the program’s director, Mr. Jenkins was told:

“I understand that religion is a major part of your life and that was evident in your recommendation letters, however, this field is not the place for religion.” Additionally, Ms. Dougherty stated, “If you interview in the future, you may want to leave your thoughts and beliefs out of the interview process.”

It bears spelling this out: a government school official believed it was entirely appropriate to reject an otherwise-qualified candidate for admission to her program because he had the temerity, when asked in his interview to identify “the most important thing to [him],” to answer honestly, “my God,” and because (apparently, in her estimation) the radiation therapy field is off-limits to anyone for whom religion “is a major part of . . . life.”

The defendants, including the program’s director, asked the court to dismiss the case.

Last Friday, the district court issued an opinion allowing the case to move forward. Agreeing with our arguments, the court correctly recognized that “if it is true that a preference for “nonreligion,” or for “nonreligious” candidates, did actually cause Dougherty to deny Jenkins admission to the RTP, . . . [s]uch a decision would . . . be an unconstitutional preference . . . .”

The ACLJ is pleased that the case will continue and is privileged to pursue its commitment to defending the right of private citizens, like Mr. Jenkins, to express their religious thoughts and beliefs free from resulting hostile and discriminatory treatment by the government.

 

Debunking the Buddhist-Based Mindfulness Fallacy in Schools

By Christina Stierhoff1572641386830

In our previous posts, we alerted you to the danger of mindfulness in schools , discussed the inherent Buddhist nature of mindfulness, and revealed the deception involved in getting these programs into schools. We thank you for rising to the challenge and partnering with us to eliminate this...

read more

Small White Cross Targeted in The Villages

By Michelle Terry1571414596691

The American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) represents Wayne and Bonnie Anderson, who live in The Villages, Florida. In their yard, the Andersons have placed a small, white cross as an expression of their religious speech and beliefs, and a colorful parrot as a decorative ornament. The cross and...

read more

Critical Case Involves Discrimination of Christian Schools

By Laura Hernandez1570822502017

Last week, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) filed an amicus brief with the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Carson v. Makin , a case challenging the State of Maine’s discrimination against Christian schools. In Maine, there are not enough public secondary schools, especially...

read more

Protecting Teachers from Forced Buddhist-Based Mindfulness

By Abigail A. Southerland1568928568700

For months, the ACLJ has worked to defend the rights of students in public schools across the country who are being subjected to classroom-led mindfulness and meditation sessions – a core religious practice of Buddhism and other eastern religions. The ACLJ has been successful in representing...

read more