Christian group sues University of California





A group representing California religious schools has filed a lawsuit accusing the University of California system of discriminating against high schools that teach creationism and other conservative Christian viewpoints.

The Association of Christian Schools International, which represents more than 800 schools, filed a federal lawsuit last week claiming UC admissions officials have refused to certify high school science courses that use textbooks challenging Darwin's theory of evolution. Other rejected courses include Christianity's Influence in American History.

According to the suit, the Calvary Chapel Christian School in Murrieta was told its courses were rejected because they use textbooks printed by two Christian publishers, Bob Jones University Press and A Beka Books.

Wendell Bird, a lawyer for the association, said the policy violates the rights of students and religious schools. ''A threat to one religion is a threat to all,'' he said.

UC spokeswoman Ravi Poorsina said she could not comment because the university had not been served with the suit. Still, she said the university has a right to set course requirements.

"These requirements were established after careful study by faculty and staff to ensure that students who come here are fully prepared with broad knowledge and the critical thinking skills necessary to succeed," Poorsina said.



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