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July 14, 2002

The Latest On Powell vs. Oregon Department Of Education Case

This will help us make our case as to why school districts must ban recruiting in schools! The school district didn't return my calls but according to the article they plan to keep allowing BSA recruiting. Will they ever learn!!

I have included the article below, also here is the link: date=20020714

For more background, here is a American Atheists article:

Local News: Sunday, July 14, 2002
Oregon, schools must pay lawyers in Boy Scout case
By The Associated Press

PORTLAND Portland schools and state officials have been ordered to pay more than $100,000 to lawyers who successfully argued that the district discriminated against atheists by allowing the Boy Scouts to recruit during school hours.

Multnomah County Circuit Judge Ellen Rosenblum said state Superintendent Stan Bunn, the Oregon Department of Education and Portland Public Schools must pay $108,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU took up the case on behalf of an atheist whose 12-year-old son was subjected to recruiting pitches at school.

David Fidanque, executive director of the state chapter of the ACLU, said the judge's award is among the largest ever granted to his group. Legal fees will climb if the case continues to be appealed, he said.

Rosenblum handed down the discrimination ruling in December. It has since been appealed.

"The case was taken on a contingency-fee basis, without any certainty of fees and a sacrifice of other fee-generating work," Rosenblum wrote last week. "The fees awarded are consistent with those customarily charged for similar legal services in the community."

Kevin Neely, a spokesman for Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers, said the state may appeal the monetary award.

Lew Frederick, a district spokesman, said the district has no plans to change its policy on Boy Scouts and expects them to recruit this fall as they have in the past.

The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of Remington Powell and his mother, Nancy, saying Portland public schools were violating a state law that prohibits religious discrimination by allowing the recruiters to work during the school day.

Remington and his mother are both atheists. Atheism is banned by the Boy Scouts.

The Powells' case against the school district goes back to 1996, when Remington, then 6, was among first-graders who were given a presentation on scouting during their lunch hour.

Remington testified he was devastated to learn he couldn't join the group because he was an atheist. He said most other boys joined, including three of his close friends.

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