CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) Fifth-grade teacher Steven Williams has filed a federal lawsuit against the Cupertino school district and his principal for barring his classroom use of historical documents that refer to God.
The filing, in U.S. District Court in San Jose, says the principal prevented Williams from using handouts excerpting such texts as America's Declaration of Independence, ''The Rights of the Colonists'' by Samuel Adams and President Bush's 2004 Day of Prayer proclamation.
Williams told the Oakland Tribune use of the texts responded to a student's question on why the Pledge of Allegiance includes ''under God.'' After a parent complained, the principal started monitoring his lesson plans and handouts.
Williams' attorney, Terry Thompson of the Alliance Defense Fund, said the principal's policy violates First Amendment rights and is blatant religious censorship of writings from great leaders.
Courts have deferred to school officials in controlling course content, said Daniel Farber, a constitutional law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, so Williams faces ''an uphill battle.''
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