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Supreme Court rejects former Cheektowaga teacher's appeal

A former teacher's religious free speech suit against the Cheektowaga Central School District is over.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently denied Joelle Silver's petition appealing two lower court decisions that dismissed her suit over the removal of religious items from her classroom.

Silver, with the help of the American Freedom Law Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., accused district officials in the 2013 suit of violating her First Amendment rights and acting hostile toward her Christianity when they  ordered her to take down posters with religious messages and other items from her classroom. Silver taught biology and anatomy at Cheektowaga High School.

The case began after a Cheektowaga student alerted the Freedom From Religion Foundation to a biblical poster and a drawing of three crosses in Silver’s classroom.

The foundation says the student also reported a guest speaker in Silver’s anatomy class who used Bible passages in his presentation. The group also claims Silver referred to Adam and Eve while talking about the human rib cage.

Over the next four years, as the civil case wound its way through the system, several federal judges agreed with the school district and ordered the suit dismissed.

Silver left the district more than a year ago.

Judge rebuffs Cheektowaga teacher in suit over religious items in classroom

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