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Parents file lawsuit over San Diego Unified School District Muslim anti-bullying program

Lawsuit asks for equal treatment for all religions
Posted: 6:49 PM, May 23, 2017
Updated: 2017-05-23 21:49:50-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A San Diego attorney filed a lawsuit Monday in Federal Court on behalf of several parents who are upset with the San Diego Unified School District’s plan to teach about Islam as part of an anti-bullying program meant to protect Muslim students.

Charles LiMandri with the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund said he wasn’t happy with SDUSD initially.

“I’m always a little bit frustrated though when I see public figures and government officials doing something that I feel is unconstitutional,” he said.

He and the parents he represents don’t like the district’s plan to teach about Islam in district schools. He said that violates the US and California Constitutions.

“It appears as though they’re showing a preference for one religion over another,” said LiMandri, who also fought for a dozen years to protect the Mt. Soledad Cross.

He cited SDUSD’s statistics from the second half of 2016.

“There are only seven incidents of bullying in the entire city, which represented 130,000 students,” he recounted. “Of that seven incidents of bullying they didn’t break it down by religious affiliation so we don’t know if any of those students were Muslims.”

“You have to treat all major religions equally or just not give any of them any type of special privileges,” he finished. “Quite frankly, Christians are getting tired of being kicked around. You can’t call Christmas vacation ‘Christmas vacation’ anymore. It’s got to be called ‘winter holiday’.”

LiMandri said the lawsuit goes away when the district treats all religions equally.

10News tried getting a comment from the school district and CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which pushed for the anti-bullying program. Neither commented before Tuesday evening.