Decided: LeVake v. Independent School District No. 656 - A three-judge panel with the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled unanimously to let stand a lower court decision that Rodney LeVake, high school science and math teacher, did not suffer any infringement on his rights to free speech and free exercise of religion when he was denied an opportunity to teach "evidence against evolution."
The court decision says, in part:
"It is unclear on what basis LeVake argues that his right to free exercise of religion was violated. LeVake does not contend that respondents prohibited him from practicing the religion of his choice. He does not assert that respondents demanded that he refrain from practicing his religion outside of the scope of his duties as a public school teacher in order to retain his teaching position, and he does not assert that the curriculum requirements incidentally infringed on his religious practice.
...the established curriculum and LeVake's responsibility as a public school teacher to teach evolution in the manner prescribed by the curriculum overrides his First Amendment rights as a public citizen. ...
Because LeVake's position paper and his statement to Hubert make it clear that LeVake would not teach the required course curriculum in the manner established by the school board, LeVake has not presented any genuine issue of material fact regarding his free exercise, free speech, and due process claims. Thus, the district court did not err in granting respondents' motion for summary judgment."