http://www.waldorfcritics.orgDebra Snell, President 12562 Rough and Ready Highway Grass Valley, CA 95945 (530) 273-1005 snell gv.net Lisa Ercolano, Vice President 220 Gaywood Road Baltimore, MD 21212-1709 (410) 377-4204 momof2gals mindspring.com Dan Dugan, Secretary 290 Napoleon St. Studio E San Francisco, CA 94124 (415) 821-9776 dan dandugan.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, FEBRUARY 28, 2005
SUMMARY JUDGMENT DENIED--TRIAL SET FOR WALDORF PUBLIC SCHOOL CHURCH/STATE CHALLENGE
On November 16, 2004, Judge Frank C. Damrell Jr. denied a motion for summary judgment filed by PLANS, Inc. This set the stage for a new trial date.
February 11, 2005, Judge Damrell set the trial date for September 12, 2005. The trial will be held at the federal courthouse in Sacramento, California, and is expected to last sixteen days.
Many of the trial documents are available on the PLANS web site:
PLANS contends that public Waldorf schools are intrinsically and inseparably based upon Anthroposophy, an occultist religious sect. Curriculum decisions and teacher training in public Waldorf schools are based on Anthroposophy's spiritually-based child development model. Publicly-funded use and reliance upon the doctrines of Anthroposophy impermissibly endorses that religion in violation of the United States and California constitutions.
PLANS filed its federal lawsuit in Sacramento on February 11, 1998, naming as defendants the Sacramento Unified School District, which operates a "Waldorf Method" magnet school, and the Twin Ridges Elementary School District, which has established six "Waldorf-inspired" charter schools.
In May, 2001, Judge Damrell dismissed the PLANS lawsuit against two school districts based on lack of standing. PLANS appealed the decision, and in February, 2003, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed PLANS' right to sue the school districts as taxpayers and reinstated the case.
WHAT IS PLANS?
PLANS was organized in late 1995 by former Waldorf parents and teachers concerned about both private and public Waldorf schools. It became a California non-profit corporation in 1997. PLANS' mission is to provide parents, teachers, and school boards with views of Waldorf education from outside the cult of Rudolf Steiner, to expose the illegality of public funding for Waldorf school programs in the US, and to litigate against schools violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
The PLANS volunteer board includes two public school teachers, one of whom has received Waldorf teacher training; the former president of a skeptical society; the associate director of a Christian anti-cult ministry, and two former Waldorf parents. President Debra Snell was a director of a private Waldorf school and helped found a Waldorf charter school. For more information, please see the PLANS web site, http://www.waldorfcritics.org.