Student Suspended For Bringing Bible To School Files Suit

Kenneth Dominguez, 16, Suspended For Bringing Bible To Gateway East High School

A lawsuit was filed against a local school district after a 16-year-old boy says he was suspended from an East County high school for bringing his Bible to campus and preaching.

Kenneth Dominguez, 16, was suspended for two days after bringing his Bible to Gateway East High School in El Cajon. His teacher wrote that Dominguez was warned several times about the Bible and preaching before he was suspended from the alternative school.

The federal lawsuit names the Grossmont Union School District, its superintendent, an assistant principal and a teacher at Gateway East High School all as defendants.

According to the suit, in January 2010, a teacher told Dominguez he should not talk about his faith at school because of the "separation of church and state." After Dominguez continued to share his Christian beliefs with other students, he was then ordered not to bring his Bible to school. Two days later, the teacher confiscated his Bible and Dominguez was suspended for two days, according to the suit.

"He didn't give any sermons or yell or scream… just sharing his faith with other students. That was it," said Brad Dacus, Dominguez's attorney.

The local branch of the American Civil Liberties Union said on the surface, the boy's rights were violated as long as he wasn't preaching in a way that was disrupting the school day.

A spokeswoman for the Grossmont Union High School District told 10News there is much more to the story but that she couldn't elaborate because of federal privacy laws.

"There's probably a whole story behind that... [he] probably didn't get suspended for bringing a Bible, you know," said Gateway East High School student Danny Dantes.

Dominguez' attorney said he has been in negotiations with the school district for the past year. He said the lawsuit was a last resort.

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