Atheist student sues school

The school authorities followed a strict Christian agenda

Cidney Fisk, who graduated from Delta County High School, has accused the school of lowering her grades. The 19-year-old also said the school tried to derail her college plans because she is an atheist. Fisk contends here was a violation of her free speech rights as guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. All these claims were made in the lawsuit filed by her against the educational institution in Denver's U.S. District Court.

Fisk's lawsuit names the Delta County Joint School District No. 50. The latter serves Delta, located about 180 miles from Denver, towards the southwest. The list of defendants includes the superintendent, counselors, one teacher and the school board. The superintendent of the district did not comment on the lawsuit, claiming that they had not received it. Denver attorneys Andrew Reid and Jeffrey Springer filed the lawsuit on behalf of Fisk. She seeks punitive and compensatory damages for humiliation, economic losses, and emotional distress.

According to Fisk, during 2015 to 2016, her senior year, she earned a 4.1 GPA. She was also captain of the school's speech along with the debate team. She was a reporter of Delta Paw Print, the student magazine, and student body treasurer. However, her opposition to teachers, administrators, and school board members, who she claimed pushed religious views during meetings and other school settings was deeply uncomfortable for her. She cited an example where Kathy Svenson, a teacher of Bible camp, and a board member of the school, once stated her personal “Christian” belief during a school board meeting. She reputedly said there should be a castration of transgender students.

Fisk mentioned in her lawsuit a counselor warned her of removal from the student government position. She also said the counselor said that she could lose scholarship opportunities from the college due to her atheist stance.

The 19-year-old claimed she received a number of death threats both before and also after her name was quoted in a Daily Sentinel article published on April 1, 2016 where she opposed a middle school program named “Donuts with Dan.” The teacher, in the program, gave students Gideon Bibles in addition to doughnuts. The principal did not pay heed when she reported the threats. She also stopped Fisk from giving her graduation speech.

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