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November / December 2004

Charting freedom's course

Religious Freedom Protection Act

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Related case updates

HSLDA has become involved in three more Pennsylvania RFPA matters in the following districts: Norwin, Penn-Trafford, and Homer-Center.

Here are the latest updates:

>>Franklin Regional School District — Newborn: On July 30, 2004, HSLDA General Counsel Michael P. Farris argued that the lawsuit should proceed, and Judge William Ober denied the school district's attempt to short-circuit the lawsuit. The case is proceeding toward trial.
>>Homer-Center School District — Combs: Truancy charges were filed against this family in September 2004. HSLDA filed a complaint based on the RFPA on September 23 and gained a stay of the truancy charges. On October 29, 2004, the school district removed the case to federal court.
>>Norwin School District — Prevish: Dr. and Mrs. Thomas and Timari Prevish decided to file a request for exemption under the Religious Freedom Protection Act, instead of filing an affidavit, for the 2004–2005 school year. The superintendent of the district denied the exemption, and HSLDA filed a complaint in the Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas. The district removed the case to federal court on October 29, 2004.
>>Penn-Trafford School District — Beamer: HSLDA Litigation Attorney James R. Mason III argued the Beamers' case for religious exemption before the Penn-Trafford School Board on October 28, 2004. A decision by the board is expected sometime in January 2005.

HSLDA has moved for consolidation of the Newborn, Hankin, and Combs cases.