Presbyterians Week Headlines
 Appeals Court Considers State Responsible for Illegally Strip-Searching Children South Carolina Principal Resigns Due to High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance Club
Corrections: The 21 May 2008 Presbyterians Week item “Presbyterian Pastor Arrested on Prostitution Charge” included the Chicago Tribune’s since-corrected reference to the PCUSA’s Presbytery of Chicago. The correct reference was the PCA’s Chicago Metro Presbytery.
Additionally, the correct spelling of the subject pastor’s surname is “Haltom”.
Appeals Court Considers State Responsible for Illegally Strip-Searching Children
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of two Wisconsin children who were strip-searched by a state social worker at a private Christian school. The court unanimously ruled that the social worker, Dana Gresbach, violated the Fourth Amendment rights of the children to be free from an unreasonable search.
The eight-year-old boy, his nine-year-old sister and their parents are represented by Stephen Crampton, Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel for Liberty Council, and Wisconsin attorney Michael D. Dean.
The court held the social worker personally responsible for violating the students' rights because the law in this area is so clear that she should have known her actions were unconstitutional. Although the school principal allowed the social worker to interview the students, that permission was not the same as consent to a physical search.
Gresbach was an employee of the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare, which was previously found to have violated the constitutional rights of a child at a private Christian school, and also the rights of the school and the child’s parents under remarkably similar circumstances. Crampton and Dean also represented the parents in that case.
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Michael Baggot reports that principal Eddie Walker of Irmo High School in Columbia, South Carolina has gained national attention after announcing his resignation on Wednesday in response to his school’s decision to approve a “Gay-Straight Alliance Club” (GSAC).
“Allowing the formation of this club on our campus conflicts with my professional beliefs and religious convictions,” wrote Walker in a letter to Lexington-Richland School District Five officials.
Walker also contended that the GSAC would conflict with the goals of the school’s abstinence education program.
Walker also agreed to continue as principle during the 2008-2009 school year, in fidelity to his previous commitment to the school.
“In my opinion failure to fulfill my contract would constitute a breach of trust with School District Five of Lexington and Richland County, my student heroes, returning Irmo High School employees, and new employees who have chosen to work at Irmo High school for the 2008-2009 school year.”
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