A Reedley High School valedictorian has sued Kings Canyon Unified School District and others alleging she was denied a leadership position at her school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes club because she is Mormon.
Anne Ayers’ complaint, filed in U.S. District Court on Monday, names 15 other defendants, including Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Reedley Mennonite Brethren Church and officials with the school district and Christian club.
She’s 18 and she’s very nervous about this proceeding but is also very interested in standing for what’s right.
“She’s not looking to get rich off this case,” said attorney Jeremy Dobbins of Ayers. “She wants to make a change. She wants to set a precedent that you can’t discriminate against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or any other faith, any other belief.”
Ayers, 18, graduated from Reedley High this year. She was a competitive swimmer and a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes from her freshman to junior years.
Dobbins said after Ayers was nominated by fellow students to the club’s leadership council, she was denied the position because of her Mormon faith.
The lawsuit includes a statement from an area director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes to Ayers. The director allegedly wrote in an email in February 2017 that in matters of leadership, the club needs “crystal clear theology when talking with coaches and athletes” and “I’m not sure if you know the theological differences between the Christian Church n [sic] LDS, but the grace of God (sending His son to the cross to forgive our sins) is what we believe gets us to Heaven n [sic] not works.”
Read the full story from the Fresno Bee here > Mormon Teen Sues School District
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