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School District Discriminated Against Bible Group, Suit Says

November 02, 2000

GLENDALE — A federal lawsuit filed Wednesday charges the Glendale Unified School District with discriminatory practices, saying a Bible study group was charged fees to use school facilities but other organizations are allowed to use them for free.

The suit was filed by the Virginia-based American Center for Law and Justice on behalf of Glendale resident Dolores Ditty, a volunteer with Child Evangelism Fellowship, a local Christian group.

According to the suit, the group was charged $41 in November 1999 to use school facilities to hold Bible study meetings for students. Other community groups, such as the Kiwanis Club and the Boy Scouts, were not charged a fee, the suit says.

"To use a common civil rights term, they were told that they could get on the bus, but had to sit in the back," said Kevin Theriot, the attorney representing Ditty.

Glendale Unified officials said the group was charged the same as other community organizations.

Stephen Hodgson, assistant superintendent of business services, said he could not comment on the lawsuit, but added the district had not done anything wrong.

"They were charged the base fee of room rental and custodial fees as other organizations like the Boy Scouts are charged," Hodgson said.

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