Jump directly to the content

Recent DevelopmentsRecent Developments

Issues that affect ministers and churches
Can Parents Claim "Educational Malpractice" Against a School?
Usually not, Colorado court says.
Colorado
State:
Categories:
Key point: Church-operated schools ordinarily cannot be sued for "educational malpractice."

A federal court in Colorado dismissed a parent's lawsuit alleging that a church-operated high school and several affiliated denominational agencies were guilty of educational malpractice. The parent was opposed to certain teachings and activities at the school that he claimed were in violation of church teachings. The court dismissed these claims on the ground that "Colorado does not recognize a claim for educational malpractice" and that courts in other states have "consistently refused to recognize educational malpractice" claims. Further, the court insisted that the parent's claim that his child received a "substandard Biblical Christian education" because of various alleged teachings and practices could not be resolved by the civil courts. It observed that any resolution of whether the child "was provided an adequate Biblical Christian education in accordance with the tenets of [her church] is barred by the first amendment [guaranty of religious freedom]." Finally, the court rejected the parent's claim that his daughter had been subjected to an "atmosphere of sexual harassment" at the school in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The court observed that Title VII only applies to the employer-employee relationship, and not to teachers and students. Houston v. Mile High Adventist Academy, 846 F. Supp. 1449 (D. Colo. 1994).

See Also: Incorporation and Tax Exemption

Log In For Full Access

Interested in becoming a member? Learn more.

Related Topics:
From Issue:
View All
from our store
Church Governance

Church Governance

What leaders must know to conduct legally sound church business
Pastor, Church & Law, Fifth Edition

Pastor, Church & Law, Fifth Edition

Learn which local, state, and federal laws apply to religious organizations.
Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Laws

Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Laws

Did you know pastors and other church staff may be required by law to report child abuse and that laws on this vary state by state?
Church Issues: Same-Sex Marriage and Gender Identity

Church Issues: Same-Sex Marriage and Gender Identity

Richard Hammar combines research and analysis to take you through a step-by-step process regarding public accommodations laws.

ChurchSalary

ChurchSalary

Experience a whole new way to set compensation. Eliminate the guesswork – get access to detailed compensation reports in just minutes.