Judge: Plaintiff ID In Arizona Charter School Lawsuit Necessary

Published: Monday, August 28, 2017 - 9:07am
Updated: Monday, August 28, 2017 - 2:43pm

A lawsuit charging a chain of Arizona charter schools of illegally using tax payer dollars to fund lessons on Godliness could be in jeopardy.

Fearing retaliation against their child, the family that filed the suit against Heritage Academy has asked U.S. District Court Judge Steven Logan to allow court documents refer to the plaintiffs as simply "Jon Doe."

However, Judge Logan said, at the very least, the father's initials must be on the record. But, Keith Beauchamp, one of the family's attorneys, argued the school is too small and the father's initials could reveal which child's family filed the complaint.

"Our disagreement with the judge really isn't about whether Doe should be anonymous but how best to keep Doe anonymous," Beauchamp said.

In original court documents he said, "The court permitted us to proceed with the pseudonym John Doe. We just have to add the initial. From our perspective, initials will eliminate the anonymity."

The case alleges Heritage teachers are telling children they must obey the Ten Commandments and worship God, and that socialism violated God's laws.

Because Heritage Academy receives tax payer funding, it is constitutionally barred from using that money for religious instruction.

Attorneys for the school deny any wrong doing.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been modified to correct the type of funding Heritage Academy receives.

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