DETROIT TEEN WITCH SETTLES LAWSUIT WITH SCHOOL

March 22, 1999
Witches Anti-Discrimination League (WADL)
PO Box 821
Connersville, IN 47331
Contact: Steve Foster (silver_lock@yahoo.com)

The ACLU of Michigan announced today that a settlement has been reached
between Detroit Wiccan Crystal Seifferly and the Lincoln Park School
District. 

Crystal had filed a lawsuit against the school district stating that the
Lincoln Park High School "gang/cult" policy which prohibited the wearing
of the pentagram-a symbol of her religious faith- violated her right to
religious expression. 

The policy, which was instituted in October 1998, prohibited the students
at Lincoln Park High School from belonging to groups and engaging in
activities considered to be "inappropriate and unacceptable in the school
setting." A partial listing of "groups that the principal considers to be
"inappropriate and unacceptable in the school setting" include "Wiggans
[sic], Pagans, and Witches." A partial listing of "inappropriate
activities" included, but was not limited to the wearing of the Pentagram.
Violation of the Lincoln Park High School Gang/Cult Policy on the part of
students would result in indefinite suspension, with possible expulsion. 

U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen accepted the terms of the "consent 
judgment" which include the following provisions:

* The words "Pagans" and "Witches" will be removed from the policy.

* An exception is made for students wearing "jewelry of other symbols in
the profession of their religion."

* Students do not need to initiate the contact informing the 
administration of their religious preference. If the student is 
approached by the administration or a security officer, the student 
simply needs to inform them the symbols are for the professing of their
religion.

* The school agrees to pay the ACLU attorneys fees.

* The school will republish the policy within five school days.

"WADL hopes that the settlement in this case will send a strong message to
all other public school districts across the country that the religious
expression of their students cannot be violated through the use of
restrictive or repressive policies. The right to wear the symbol of one's
faith does not cease to exist once one passes through the schoolhouse
door," stated WADL President Steve Foster.











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