This webpage contains SCHOOL-HOMESCHOOLING court cases involving/affecting Children of Jehovah's Witnesses and their JW Parents. If you are looking for court cases involving adult Jehovah's Witnesses who are employed as School Teachers or other School Employees, then click this link to go to our JEHOVAH'S WITNESS SCHOOL TEACHERS - EMPLOYEES webpage available at our JW EMPLOYEES website.
NEW YORK v. JAMES SULLIVAN was a 1909 New York criminal court case which aptly demonstrates how the WatchTower Cult has historically viewed children, child-rearing, and schooling. Also see opening section of this website's HOME PAGE linked above.
James Sullivan was the 15 YEAR-OLD son of BETHELITE and WATCHTOWER PILGRIM, Owen L. Sullivan, whom also had two older daughters and a son-in-law who all were BETHELITES at WatchTower HQ in Brooklyn. Those two older daughters were the children of O. L. Sullivan and his deceased first wife (Alabama), while James Sullivan had been born to O. L. Sullivan and his second wife in 1894 -- soon after their marriage (Tennessee).
It appears that Owen L. Sullivan had become a WATCHTOWER BETHELITE sometime around 1907, so we are guessing that James Sullivan's mother had died sometime shortly prior to 1907, and that after her death, O. L. Sullivan had abandoned the rearing of his then 13 year-old son to either relatives or a boarding school. At some unknown point in time, WATCHTOWER BETHELITE and PILGRIM, O. L. Sullivan, had forced James Sullivan to live at Fox River Academy, which was a SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST "school" located in Illinois. Notably, the name of that "school" had been changed in 1908 from Sheridan Industrial School to Fox River Academy -- admittedly to improve the "institution's" image. In reality, this "school" was a working farm where the students were required to perform all of the manual labor when they were otherwise not being indoctrinated with SDA beliefs and practices, and given a free basic education in exchange.
James Sullivan foreseeably did not like living as a "slave" at Fox River Academy, and ran away to live with relatives sometime during the Spring of 1909. Around July 1909, 15 year-old James Sullivan traveled to WatchTower HQ, in Brooklyn, where he thought that he would find his "loving" father, Owen L. Sullivan. However, at the time, O. L. Sullivan was traveling with Charles Taze Russell in the western Pacific states. Apparently, BETHELITE brother-in-law A. G. Wakefield arranged for James Sullivan to also become a BETHELITE and work at WatchTower HQ. After a month or so of performing slave labor for room and board at WatchTower HQ, James Sullivan ran away to relatives living in Philadelphia.
James Sullivan apparently was "tricked" into returning to WatchTower HQ, where brother-in-law, Averett G. Wakefield, and James Sullivan's two half-sisters had him arrested and jailed with the intent of having him legally declared a "juvenile delinquent", and shipped off to a REFORM SCHOOL. Outcome unknown.
IN RE GERALD GREEN was a 1969 Pennsylvania court decision. In June 1969, Gerald Green, age 16, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, mysteriously collapsed soon after receiving his diploma during graduation exercises at Edward Bok Technical High School. Transported to Einstein Medical Center BY THE POLICE, doctors discovered that Gerald Green was INTERNALLY HEMORRHAGING due to causes they would not release. JW Stepfather and JW Mother -- Robert Armistead, age 47, and Ruby Armistead, age 46 -- not only refused to consent to life-saving blood transfusions, but indicated their intentions to physically resist such, Einstein Medical Center sought and obtained court intervention, including orders to arrest Robert Armistead and Ruby Armistead if they attempted to interfere. The Judge also confined Gerald Green to the hospital until such time that doctors determined that all dangers to the teenager had passed. Robert Armistead and Ruby Armistead were outraged, and threatened a federal lawsuit for the supposed violations of THEIR constitutional rights. Robert Armistead continued to bark threats to reporters that he was going to remove his step-son from Einstein Medical Center. Apparently, there was much more to this story than was released to the public.
"We put our trust in God's word, the Bible. ... If the Bible is inspired of Almighty God, it's important for parents -- today or 2,000 years ago -- to try to bring their children up in the discipline and mental regulation of the Almighty Creator. ... We don't take the viewpoint of a lot of religious extremists who take things out of there [Bible] and misconstrue them."
"... other children, if their moral values are not the moral values we're trying to teach our children, we've got to be cautious. ... It's not that we tried to eliminate Josh from ever having contact with any other child, because that's not the truth. There are many other children we exposed him to."
"... activities such as entertainment and sports are of this world and controlled by the devil. ... The lionizing of sports heroes comes close to idolatry. ... Josh, at one point, I'd have to say, he was idolizing Michael Jordan."
IN RE FEMALE JEHOVAH'S WITNESS TEENAGER was a 2013 Quebec family court case initiated by the then 16 year-old daughter of Jehovah's Witness Parents who had decided that she did not want to be a member of the WatchTower Cult. (Published decision is sparse on details, and even available details are in French.) The family were at some unspecified time "converts" to the WatchTower Cult, but apparently sufficient time had passed beyond mere conversion that JW Father had been given certain unspecified "privileges" in the family's Congregation. However, JW Father had had such "privileges" removed by the Body of Elders due to JW Father's inability to control the life of his daughter. When daughter was 16 years-old, she apparently moved out of her JW Parents' home -- possibly to the home of one of her high school teachers -- and initiated this emancipation action.
This legal proceeding to formally remove 16 year-old daughter from the legal authority of her JW Parents was filed by Quebec's DIRECTOR OF YOUTH PROTECTION, which was alleging that the negative actions of the JW Parents toward their daughter were endangering that daughter's personal security, personal development, and future stability. Specifically, the DYP was alleging that the JW Parents had been "psychologically abusing" their daughter due to the fact that Daughter no longer wanted to attend the family's Kingdom Hall, nor wanted anything else to do with the beliefs and practices of the WatchTower Cult. The JW Parents were further alleged to be continuously denigrating their 16 year-old daughter due to the fact that she was sexually active with her boyfriend. (The court decision did not indicate whether Daughter had been baptized, but regardless, under the aforementioned circumstances, Daughter undoubtedly also would have been "shunned" by her JW Parents' Congregation, whether that be via disfellowshipping, public reproval, marking, etc.)
The DIRECTOR OF YOUTH PROTECTION pointed out that Daughter had no "other" behavioral problems -- only problems caused by her JW Parents. Her performance in school had declined. She suffered from anxiety. She did not sleep well, and she was losing weight due to loss of appetite. Daughter did NOT want to be force to return home. There was little or no genuine communication between Daughter and her JW Parents. Daughter was afraid to communicate her true feelings to her JW Parents. The JW Parents failed to understand or sympathize with the plight of Daughter, and the JW Parents had no understanding or appreciation how their actions were negatively impacting their daughter.
While denying all of the DYP's allegations, the JW Parents agreed with the emancipation of their daughter. In fact, JW Father stated that he would rather have no daughter at all than have a daughter who behaved as did his daughter. JW Father threatened to thereafter cut off all communication with his daughter. The Court of Quebec approved this emancipation -- plus ordered that all legalities be cooperated with in regard to a foreign school trip in May 2014.
CAUTION: JW Teens should understand that this remedy is NOT the remedy for every child who has problems with their Jehovah's Witness Parents. This JW Teenager was forced to take extreme measures due to extreme circumstances. Unfortunately, other JW Teenagers have not reached out for help, and as a result eventually have taken even more extreme measures to escape even more extreme circumstances. Under lessor circumstances, biding your time until you graduate from high school is nearly always the better choice. However, if necessary for your personal well-being, don't hesitate to contact school counselors or teachers. They are trained to evaluate such situations and provide you with confidential assistance, including helping you to decide whether other helpers need to be involved.
Other readers should understand that the WatchTower Cult has trained its members to interpret this situation as being that of a rebellious teenager demanding that they get their way, which in this case would be seen as an immoral teenager demanding to be permitted to continue to practice immorality. Jehovah's Witnesses are trained to ignore the fact that there are other possible or even other more likely interpretations of this scenario. Jehovah's Witnesses are trained to ignore the fact that life within the WatchTower Cult often produces husbands who ignore the needs of their wives, wives who ignore the needs of their husbands, and parents who ignore the needs of their children. Often, emotionally and psychologically abused CHILDREN are the result. Some Jehovah's Witness children turn to alcohol and drugs. Others turn to crime. Some, like this teenager, turn to non-JWs for help. When one of those helpers turns out to be a boyfriend or girlfriend, sexual activity is inevitable. That's what humans who care for each other inevitably do. There's a difference between responsible sex between two committed persons who love one another, and rebelliously and stupidly engaging in wholesale sex with multiple different persons as a recreational activity.
Jehovah's Witnesses are locked into a 3500 year-old set of rules which then did not care for what reason sex was being engaged. The purpose then of those rules and their enforcement was to separate the humans from the animals. True, humans have not progressed nowhere near as far as most liberals believe. True, in this 21st century, there is a current resurgence of a animalistic segment of humanity which exists even below the level of healthy animals, but human societies which permit such are always eventually destroyed by their own moral decay (not a matter of "if", just a matter of "when"). However, the marker has moved some distance for advanced humans during the past 4000 years. Humanity has reached the point where distinctions can and should be made.
IN RE MALE JEHOVAH'S WITNESS TEENAGER was a 2002-03 Quebec family court case which involved another troubled Quebec family in which their 14 year-old son refused to become a member of the WatchTower Cult. However, this published decision did not contain as many specifics as does the decision in the Female Teenager case. This published decision specifically identified only the Mother as a "Jehovah's Witness". However, the father, while not identified in this decision as a Jehovah's Witness, had little or no interest in having his rebellious 14 year-old son return to live with the family, and the father even told a social worker in April 2003 that he considered his 14 year-old son "dead". Thus, if that Father was not an active Jehovah's Witness, then he certainly had somehow fully internalized the attitude of an active Jehovah's Witness Father at some point in his life.
In November 2002, a Quebec family court formalized the teenager's earlier temporary placement in a foster home made at the request of the DIRECTOR OF YOUTH PROTECTION. It was ruled that the negative actions of his parents were endangering the 14 year-old boy's personal security, personal development, and future stability. The boy's parents admitted most of the allegations and agreed to their son's temporary removal from their home. At the June 2003 Hearing, neither parent contested the permanent placement of their son into foster care until he reached the age of majority.
CZECH REPUBLIC v. CZECH JEHOVAH'S WITNESS PARENTS was a 2009 Czech criminal prosecution of JEHOVAH'S WITNESS PARENTS who had KICKED OUT OF THEIR HOME their 18 year-old daughter, because that daughter had refused to be baptized as a Jehovah's Witness. Those JW Parents also told their daughter that if she agreed to be baptized that she could return home.
That "very smart" 18 year-old secondary-school student apparently reported her JW Parents' ABUSE and EXTORTION to the local police in her home town of Zlin, South Moravia. The local Prosecutor decided to charge the JW Parents with violation of a Czech criminal law, which media translated into English as, "Oppression", which under Czech law is defined as when a Perpetrator abuses someone else's dependence or emergency situation to force him/her to do something the Perpetrator wants them to do. Although the JW Parents' daughter had reached the age of majority in the Czech Republic -- 18 years-old -- she was a student in secondary school, and apparently, she had never held a job. Thus, her JW Parents abandoned their daughter without any financial means of support.
Although the outcome of this prosecution is not known, our best guess is that once the JW Parents were arrested and their prosecution hit the international news, the JW Parents had a sudden change of heart. Children of JW Parents around the globe, especially those in the United States, who find themselves in the same/similar dilemma should use this scenario as an excellent lesson as to how to deal with their JW Parents who are BLACKMAILING THEM to be baptized as a Jehovah's Witness. Especially note that this "very smart" 18 year-old apparently gave her JW Parents NO OTHER REASON OR REASONS by which they could excuse their kicking their child out of their home. If an unimaginative local prosecutor attempts to dismiss such a complaint as being nothing that he can do due to the complaintant's age, that lazy prosecutor should be reminded that modern society has a significant interest in not forcing taxpayers to provide such victims with food stamps, welfare, and other social assistance. We suspect that state social service agencies and especially the local newspaper will also take some interest in such an abusive scenario.
IN RE DOE and IN RE ROE were related 1975 Washington state family court EMANCIPATION cases in which two sisters attempted to "divorce" themselves from their Jehovah's Witness Mother because of their JW Mother's WatchTower religious beliefs and practices. Keeping in mind that the WatchTower Society had predicted that Armageddon would occur in October 1975, or soon thereafter, in 1975, two Washington state female Minors, ages 12 and 16, petitioned Juvenile Court to remove them from their JW Mother's home, because they refused to convert to the WatchTower religion as had their mother. This drastic decision was apparently not forced on them by outside parties given that no relatives stepped forward to take them into their homes. The older girl was placed in a foster home, and the younger girl was placed into a state facility pending placement into a foster home. The two girls apparently had ran away from home, and absolutely refused to return so long as their mother tried to force them to convert. Outcome unknown.
IN RE CHRISTY BROWN is yet another situation where a child of Jehovah's Witness Parents attempted to "divorce" themselves from their Jehovah's Witness Parents because of WatchTower religious beliefs and practices. In 1987, 15 year-old Christy Brown, of Des Moines, Iowa, was disfellowshipped from her family's Des Moines Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses due to "rebelliousness". Brown alleged that she was disfellowshiped for wearing makeup, wearing fashionable clothes, and listening to Michael Jackson music. Brown further claimed that as a result of her being disfellowshipped from her family's Des Moines Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses that her JW Parents instituted multiple ridiculous punishments, including making her wear the same green dress for six straight weeks. In response, Brown obtained her own personal attorney, and filed legal action to remove herself from her JW parents' custody. Outcome unknown.
KARMA ALERT!!! In December 1994, a 17 year-old African-American Jehovah's Witness, named Michael Allen Johnson, was shot in the back and killed while walking home from his part-time job after he refused to surrender his "athletics jacket" to three neighbor-hood-rats. Johnson was eulogized by an Elder at his Edgewood Terrace Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses as a devoted Jehovah's Witness who spent 16 hours a month going door-to-door.
TEXAS v. MICHAEL ALLEN JOHNSON. In November 1989, then 12 year-old Michael Allen Johnson was accused of stabbing to death 24 year-old teacher, Jana Simpson, at Glen Park Elementary. It was the teacher's first day on the job at this school, which had not yet started classes, and she was stabbed 17 times just outside her mobile home classroom. Simpson's purse went untouched, which left few motives for the attack. Police initially were drawn to Johnson as a potential witness, but after what was later described as unlawful threats and coercion, Johnson admitted to killing the teacher after she discovered Johnson prowling the school grounds. Johnson later passed several polygraphs in which he retracted the confession and denied the murder. Most of the confession was not admitted at trial, and the jury acquitted Johnson in only 40 minutes. Johnson was the only suspect, and since no murder weapon was found, noone else was ever prosecuted for the murder.
Excerpt from Back in the Seventh Grade ... Again! by G. E. Hicks. Hicks, a middle school Principal, studied twelve retained North Carolina 7th grade students required to repeat the 7th grade in Hicks' attempt to examine why middle school students who consistently passed state-mandated tests did poorly in school and thus had to repeat their grade. Hicks published his findings in this 2004 doctoral dissertation:
The most emphatic and animated of the group, Courtney has strong opinions about life and how people should treat each other. Wearing a skirt that covered her knees, she was the only participant wearing glasses. Courtney quickly, almost defensively, professed her Christian faith and indicated that it was her faith that caused her to dress the way she did. Courtney also said that she believed it was her dress and faith that caused her to be picked on by others. Academically, Courtney’s sixth grade year mirrored her elementary experience, where she made mostly C’s while barely passing EOG tests. In the seventh grade, however, Courtney’s grades were mostly D’s and F’s. Although she passed her EOG’s (low III’s) and attended summer school, Courtney was still retained. The shortest girl, this thirteen-year-old African American female on reduced lunch, was one of the more immature acting of the group. She often interrupted others in the focus group with her overly expressive comments. With eyes wide, head weaving, and hands on hips, Courtney would focus her anxiety on the boys in the group, trying to get them to notice her, whether positively or negatively. ...
Courtney’s teachers call her "very religious." According to the teachers, the family attends the Jehovah’s Witness church. The girls in the family always wear skirts, no pants. The mother is very diligent in attending conferences. Courtney is considered by her teachers to perform in the low average range, needing lots of practice and sustained focus. One teacher stated that Courtney is considered to have a "victim mentality," and often uses race as an excuse for any perceived injustice. Another teacher said that Courtney lacked basic skills and knowledge and should not have been promoted last year. Courtney, by her teacher’s reports, did little work last year and did not get along well with others.
Reading about "Courney's" lack of basic skills and knowledge and victim mentality reminded me of a field service car group conversation that occurred back in 1997. The car group was composed of myself, an unemployed 20 year-old male African-American Pioneer and son of an Elder, a male 20s Hispanic publisher, and a then 19 year-old male caucasian Pioneer Son of a MS. (In 2007, this Zionsville, Indiana now-Elder's Son and former JW Pioneer did jail time in Florida for passing a bad check.) The 20 year-old African-American Elder's Son-Pioneer let the car-group know that he had been a "victim" of racial discrimination earlier that week when he had applied for part-time employment as a Salesperson at one Indianapolis's well-advertised Home Improvement companies. Unemployed African-American Pioneer related how everyone at the Company's office was "white", and how arrogant and dismissive the "racist" recruiter had been toward his door-to-door "sales" experience, his "construction" experience working with the Regional Building Committee for the prior year or so, his never having held a full-time job, his relevant prior part-time work experience as a Red Lobster waiter, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah. Unknown to Unemployed 20 year-old African-American Elder's Son-Pioneer was the fact that this company was one of my clients. Salespersons for this Home Improvement Company were required to have the construction knowledge and experience to be able to go into any home in the city and be able to completely assess cause-effect of the homeowner's problem, write an accurate estimate for all materials and labor needed to remedy the homeowner's problems, sell the contract and obtain payment, or obtain a downpayment and/or financing application, etc. The Company advertised that "part-time" employment was available in the hope that such would attract construction-experienced and construction-knowledgeable retirees who were looking for something to do to keep themselves active. Salespersons specifically had to be readily available for weeknight and weekend appointments. Yeh, this know-nothing, done-nothing JW would have been perfect for this position if only he was "white".
JW Kids -- Go to school. Stay in school. Work as hard as possible. Get as much education as possible. Bad attitude begets bad attitude. If you are being "persecuted", try to honestly assess whether you are "advertising" for the negative attention, and if so, eliminate that behavior. This world is already overflowing with 40 year-old persecuted losers with perpetual bad attitudes. If that is how you live your teen years, you will most likely live as such for the rest of your miserable life. Oh, by the way, Jehovah's Witnesses are NOT the smartest, most knowledgeable people on the planet, and neither are you!
We know that this webpage will sometimes be visited by minority age CHILDREN of Jehovah's Witness Parents who are being denied opportunities to engage in sports at school, who are being denied higher education opportunities, who are being denied the opportunity to associate with non-JWs, who are denied ... , denied ..., denied ... , denied ... , etc.
Frankly, over the years, we have ran across instance after published instance of Jehovah's Witness Parents who ARE ALLOWING their children to take advantage of those and other once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, and who still remain loyal Jehovah's Witnesses. Although we have until now failed to post or archive those many, many published instances, we have now decided to post this edited excerpt from a September 2015 obituary which well demonstrates that not all JW Parents are "WatchTower Nazis", and not all Congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses are "WatchTower concentration camps" (This is an unfortunate source, but where else are JW Parents who do not march lockstep with the WatchTower Cult permitted to fully disclose such biographical info? Certainly not in the pages of the WATCHTOWER or AWAKE! magazines, nor at any WatchTower Cult conventions or assemblies where only severely-strict JW Families are trotted out as examples for other JW Families.):
"... He was currently enrolled in Helena College University of Montana in the Aviation Maintenance Tech program with his brother. He also holds an Associates of Applied Science degree in Fire and Rescue along with being a trained EMT. ...
Koby was an award-winning and record breaking athlete and one of the most gifted and talented individuals excelling at everything he did. He was a member of the National Honor Society and Class Vice President. His awards are many but not limited to: Offensive MVP - Football (FB), All-Conference (FB), All Star Team (FB), Great Falls Tribune Athlete of the Week (FB), Nominated for All Spice Athlete of the Year (FB), and State Track 5th in 100M.
Koby was an energetic and well-loved server and bartender at the Applebee’s Family Restaurant in Helena. He held a Professional Mixologist license as well as a Food Server Certification. His co-workers and guests have set up a memorial on site and the restaurant will be closed for five hours in honor of Koby to allow for a public mourning. ... ... ...
Koby was strong in his faith and attended the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Butte and Valier.
From Jehovah's Witness Elder To JESUS CHRIST!
Alan John Miller was born in South Australia, in 1963, to devout Jehovah's Witness Parents, Alan and Maxine Miller. A. J. Miller spent his formative years in quite a mentally disturbing environment. In 1966-67, when Miller was about 4 years-old, the WatchTower Society began to teach that Jesus Christ would return to Earth in October 1975 to rid the planet of all evil (all non-JWs) in the Battle of Armageddon. Typical of nearly all Jehovah's Witness families during that time period, every spare moment was spent preaching door-to-door to warn the general public of their impending doom if they refused to convert to the Jehovah's Witnesses. The WatchTower Society taught its Jehovah's Witness members that they would be held accountable by Jehovah God (i.e., "bloodguilty") for any lives destroyed because of their failure to have warn such ones.
Alan John Miller is reported to have been a "shy, deeply spiritual teenager who came out of his shell only when discussing Jehovah's Witness theology". Typical of children reared by Jehovah's Witness Parents, Alan and his sister, Jenni Miller, not only sacrificed most of their spare time to the activities of the WatchTower Cult, but they reportedly also sacrificed engaging in many of the formative activities in which other children of their ages participated.
October 1975 came and went without any sign of the return of Jesus Christ, and Jehovah's Witnesses around the world were once again forced to deal mentally with yet another second adventist "Great Disappointment". Many adult Jehovah's Witnesses mentally struggled greatly with such. One can only imagine the psychological impact on a 13 year-old whom had known nothing else but the impending doom of most of mankind.
After October 1975, the WatchTower Society told its Jehovah's Witness members that the calculated end of mankind's 6000th anniversary on earth had been accurate, and that Jesus Christ would return at any moment. Instead of slowing down, Jehovah's Witnesses should speed-up their door-knocking, and take full advantage of these unexpected additional days to warn people of their impending doom. At some point, Alan John Miller reportedly applied for and was approved as a Jehovah's Witness "Pioneer" (WatchTower Society term for a full-time proselytizer).
At some point during his teenage years, all this S**T apparently began to wear on young A. J. Miller, since it has been reported that Miller's JW Parents eventually had to seek some sort of mental health treatment for their teenage son. In 1979, at the age of 17, the highly intelligent Alan John Miller discontinued his high school studies and started studying computer science at a local community college. Afterwards, Miller started his own IT consulting business.
Still a devout Jehovah's Witness, around 1983, Alan John Miller married a fellow Jehovah's Witness -- 19-year-old Sheree Newman. The Jehovah's Witness couple eventually had two sons. During this same time period, A. J. Miller was first promoted to a "Ministerial Servant" (deacon) within his Jehovah's Witness congregation, and eventually Miller was promoted to being an "Elder" (minister) in his congregation. Sometime in the latter 1990s, Miller's lifelong odyssey in the WatchTower Cult ended when Miller supposedly became involved with another female, and he allegedly was "disfellowshipped".
Starting around 2004, A. J. Miller began proclaiming himself to be the reincarnated "Jesus Christ". Since then, Miller has reportedly developed his own cult with its own beliefs and practices -- some of which are loosely based on his previous WatchTower beliefs (anti-trinitarianism and forecasting apocryphal dates) -- and has attracted quite a following of financial supporters. Miller also has been accused of having a series of mistresses -- each of whom Miller has claimed to be the reincarnated "Mary Magdalene".
EDWARD ANGELO CAMPOCHIARO ET AL v. TOWN OF PLAINVILLE, CONNECTICUT ET AL, EDWARD ANGELO CAMPOCHIARO ET AL v. TOWN OF PLAINVILLE, CONNECTICUT ET AL, and EDWARD ANGELO CAMPOCHIARO ET AL v. DEPT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, and WELFARE were related 1974-1980? federal and state Connecticut court cases. In October 1974, Edward A. Campochario, age 33, and Frances R. Campochario, age 38, a Puerto Rican Jehovah's Witness Couple living in Plainville, Connecticut, filed a TWO MILLION DOLLAR federal lawsuit against the Town of Plainville, the Superintendent of Schools, the Board of Education, and various School Teachers, in which these Puerto Rican Jehovah's Witnesses accused the named defendants of failing to properly diagnose and properly treat the exact learning disability of the JW Couple's eight year-old MENTALLY RETARDED SON, Edward Campochiaro, JR. The Campochiaro's lawsuit went on to charge local school officials and teachers with "religious harassment" -- alleging that school officials and teachers were blaming their retarded son's various problems at school on the family's home religious training, which was based on WatchTower principles, rather than properly diagnosing and properly treating Edward Jr's REAL problems.
Based on extremely limited available info, it appears that these allegations, and possibly the federal lawsuit itself, were dismissed in part or whole, because by January 1976, a hearing was conducted by a local board whose goal appears to have been to assess the situation regarding the Campochario's son and his teachers. The Campocharios apparently were not happy with the results of such, and thereafter fought at both the federal and state levels to access various school records which they claimed had been kept from them. In any event, in true Jehovah's Witness fashion, over the many years, the Campocharios probably cost their small local school system hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal and administrative expenses which could have been better spent on educating Plainville school children.
COLE v. COLE was a circa 1985 Georgia custody court decision. Maurice Cole and Mary Cole, of Rockdale County, Georgia, had divorced sometime in the early 1980s. Thereafter, Mary Cole converted to the Jehovah's Witnesses, and per WatchTower teachings that discourage JW Children from participating in school sports programs, Mary Cole told her son, Rod Cole, whom she had physical custody, that he could no longer play on his high school basketball team. Maurice Cole then went to court, and sought and obtained custody of Rod, and moved back from Dekalb County, so that Rod could continue playing for Rockdale County. After high school, Rod Cole went on to star as a guard for the University of Georgia Bulldogs from 1987-1991.
"22. Plaintiffs allege the Defendants have violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by encouraging, entrenching and subsidizing acts and omissions on the part of the Anglo-American Modesto City School teachers, officials and students that resulted in racial discrimination against the Plaintiffs."23. Plaintiffs contend Defendants’ flagrant disregard for Federal law, resulted in racially based physical and psychological victimizations of the Plaintiffs. During one victimization, an older Anglo-American student assaulted Plaintiff Victor so severely that Plaintiff Victor’s clothing was totally destroyed during the physical attack."24. Although Plaintiffs demanded and received monetary compensation from Modesto City School officials for Plaintiff Victor’s destroyed personal property, Plaintiffs contend Modesto City School officials failed to take disciplinary action against the older Anglo-American aggressor."25. Plaintiffs contend District sanctioned victimization of this kind are racially based and denote racial inferiority on the part of African-American students, and that said denotation results in racial discrimination against African-American students and parents."26. Plaintiffs further contend this racial denotation denied Plaintiff Victor the right to attend school in a racially friendly educational environment and discouraged Plaintiff Victor from the enjoyment, service, aid and benefit of Modesto City School facilities and programs.
"... Plaintiffs met with Defendant Jane Moffett many times to discuss Plaintiff Victor’s victimizations. ... Plaintiffs called officers of the City of Modesto Police Department to Sonoma Elementary School several times in an attempt at putting an end to the physical abuse, Plaintiffs appeared before the Modesto City School Board numerous times to voice their grievances, Plaintiffs provided the Modesto City School Board with a written statement of their complaints, and Plaintiffs requested a hearing with Modesto City School officials to voice their grievances."On December 19, 2003, Plaintiffs received the District’s response to their complaints. Plaintiffs were appalled their weightier claims of physical abuse and assault upon Plaintiff Victor, and the Districts [sic] failure to provide special education Plaintiff Victor with a FAPE [FREE APPROPRIATE PUBLIC EDUCATION] were not addressed in the District’s response. Dissatisfied with District findings, ... Plaintiffs forwarded several written correspondences to Superintendent of Public Instruction, James Enochs in an attempt at further mediation."The Superintendent of Public Instruction failed to respond to even one of Plaintiffs’ correspondences. Therefore, on January 2, 2004, Plaintiffs forwarded a written appeal to the California Department of Education. ... Plaintiffs did not receive a response from the California Department of Education until mid June 2004, by which time Plaintiffs concluded they were not benefiting [sic] from the ‘administrative process’ and had already removed themselves from the Modesto City School District."
"A school board shall excuse from attendance at school any pupil who, together with his parents, by reason of bona fide religious training or belief, is conscientiously opposed to attendance at school."
I/we declare that the leadership of our school is of good moral character; and subscribes to the historic creeds of the Christian church (Apostles, Nicene, Chalcedon); and recognizes the authority of the Scriptures in all matters of faith and practice. Further, we agree to abide by the TACRS Education Guidelines.
I/we declare that the leadership of our school is of good moral character and we agree to abide by the TACRS Education Guidelines.
"A review of the record demonstrates that Mata's vociferous protestations notwithstanding, he has raised no genuine issues of material fact as to at least two essential elements of malicious prosecution: lack of probable cause, and the plaintiff's innocence. Certainly the school district had probable cause to charge Mata with violating the attendance law given the undisputed fact that Ester was absent from school for the statutory period without excuse, and was not being schooled at home at the time. Moreover, two convictions by the justice of the peace, both of which were recognized as valid on appeal, eliminate Mata's claim of innocence."The issues to which Mata repeatedly refers as creating a genuine issue of material fact are either irrelevant or flatly contradicted by his own deposition. We have made clear that a plaintiff cannot create a genuine issue of material fact with bald and conclusionary statements. Neither can he manufacture a dispute simply by contradicting his prior testimony or selectively presenting the facts. We do not question Mata's subjective belief that all parties with which he has dealt, including the district court, have persecuted him. Such a belief, however, does not create an issue of material fact; yet that, in a nutshell, is what Mata argues on appeal.
"The record demonstrates beyond cavil that Mata has received fair treatment by the school officials, the justice of the peace, and the district court. Regrettably, the record demonstrates that Mata and his attorney have not responded in kind. Most importantly, the record reveals that Mata has failed to raise genuine issues of material fact on at least two of the elements of malicious prosecution; therefore his claim cannot survive summary judgment."... Mata also alleges that Ester's treatment and his prosecution are based on religious discrimination. Mata's arguments on this point are scattered conclusionary references to community and school bias against Jehovah's Witnesses. To the extent that he argues this issue at all, he presents nothing more than bald assertions, insufficient to survive a summary judgment motion.
"The record indicates that the Mazanec children were sent to Illinois for reasons apart from the circumstances giving rise to this action."
The Mazanecs ... argue that the [compulsory education] statute is sufficiently vague to allow the monitoring authorities to harass them because of their religious beliefs and because of their assertion of their right to free speech in the form of establishing a home school.The problem with the Mazanecs' view of this case is that it is based on the assumption that Mr. Moore initiated the prosecution because of a hostility to home schooling or to Jehovah's Witnesses. The district court found ... that the Mazanecs were prosecuted because they frustrated the attempts at verifying compliance with the law, not because their actions were deemed incapable of meeting the requirements of the law.The district court found that Mr. Moore made reasonable efforts to discharge his statutory duty to investigate the educational arrangements made for the plaintiffs' children and that, based on the information available at the time, he acted properly in turning this information over to the prosecutor. It is important to emphasize that, despite the Mazanecs' contrary contentions, it was the prosecutor, not Mr. Moore, who made the ultimate decision to press criminal charges and who controlled the course of the prosecution. Thus at one level, ascribing responsibility to Mr. Moore and the school corporation is difficult simply because the harassment, to the extent the acts of the prosecution can be so described, was ultimately the decision of a prosecutor. If the evidence indicated that Moore had given the prosecutor erroneous information or failed to attempt to investigate the situation adequately, this might have been a different case. Given the district court's finding that Mr. Moore's investigation was proper in the context of the plaintiffs' uncooperative attitude, however, the superintendent and the school corporation cannot be held liable for any errors in the exercise of the prosecutor's discretion to continue the prosecution after September 29, 1980.Although Moore acted properly and in accord with his statutory responsibilities, that does not mean that the statute necessarily passes constitutional muster. Under the circumstances of this case, however, the plaintiffs' conduct leading up to their prosecution undercuts their attempts to attack the statute, and the governmental action, on constitutional grounds. There is no dispute that the Indiana statute allows in theory and in practice the type of home education desired by the Mazanecs. ... There was testimony that 178 home schools were being operated in Indiana at the time of the trial. Thus, to the extent such a right exists, Barbara Mazanec's constitutional right to educate her children as she saw fit was capable of being accommodated under Indiana law provided that there are no material flaws in the language of the statute or in the systematic enforcement of the law by government officials. The problem here is that the alleged wrong, the prosecution, was found to be a product of the Mazanecs' failure to cooperate rather than infirmities in the statute or its application. Since a compulsory education law is in theory constitutional, as is the inevitable enforcement of the law, it is clear that under any such law parents would have to assist state officials charged with monitoring compliance. Thus, even in a state with a constitutionally perfect education law and system, people like the plaintiffs who frustrate state officials in enforcing the compulsory education law will be prosecuted. Under these circumstances the Mazanecs are not the proper parties to be challenging the constitutionality of the statute, or Mr. Moore's method of enforcing it, because the record indicates that it was not the alleged constitutional infirmities that caused their injuries. ...The Mazanecs devote a considerable portion of their argument to the state's alleged failure to accommodate their first amendment rights by using a less restrictive alternative to criminal prosecution. Once again this theoretically compelling argument is fatally weakened by the plaintiffs' conduct. The less restrictive alternatives suggested all involve parental participation, an item that the district court concluded was not readily available. The area of compulsory education involves a delicate balancing of the first amendment rights of both parents and children and the interests of the state in education. ... In reviewing a statute that seeks to accommodate the competing sides of the balance, or the actions taken pursuant to such a statute, we must have before us parties whose rights were allegedly violated by the state's policy or enforcement. We will not reach out to decide constitutional issues that may arise in a close case on behalf of plaintiffs, like the Mazanecs, whose conduct puts them clearly within the zone in which the government is justified in taking action, including prosecution.
The final issue raised by the Mazanecs is their right to attorney's fees ... . They argue that the district judge's finding that the children received an equivalent education under Indiana law constituted a partial award of the declaratory relief sought. The Mazanecs would be considered the "prevailing party" for purposes of determining their entitlement to reasonable attorney's fees under section 1988 if they can be deemed to have succeeded "`on any significant issue in litigation which achieves some of the benefit [they] sought in bringing the suit.'" ... The district court rejected the fee request on the grounds that neither Mr. Moore nor the school corporation had violated the constitution and that Mr. Moore and the remaining defendants were entitled to immunity. This precluded, according to the district court, the imposition of liability for attorney's fees ... .
We agree with the district court but on a somewhat narrower basis. What the plaintiffs received was a declaration or a finding that they were in compliance with state law. This is not something the Mazanecs "sought" to achieve in bringing this lawsuit. The Mazanecs' amended complaint prays for injunctive, declaratory, and monetary relief based on alleged violations of their constitutional rights and those of their children. They never prevailed in getting any declaration that their civil rights claims had merit. ...
IMMEDIATO v. RYE NECK SCHOOL DISTRICT was a 1996 New York federal USCA court decision. The two named plaintiffs were Daniel Immediato, and his parents Eugene and Diane Immediato, and Mario Gironda Jr., and his parents Mario Sr. and Sandra Gironda. I have not delved deeply into this topic, or even this single case, because I have NOT been able to establish that either of the named plaintiffs were Jehovah's Witnesses. This case was one of several that arose during the 1990s over the question as to whether it was constitutional for high schools to require students to perform "community service" as a condition of graduation. This USCA decision upheld the USDC's decision that "community service" requirements were constitutional, and it is possible that SCOTUS denied cert.
There are repeated brief references, in articles discussing this issue, to the fact that an unnamed Jehovah's Witness Student at Rye Neck High School in Mamaroneck, New York, attempted to have approved as his/her required "community service project" their weekly JW door-to-door recruiting activities, which are also required of them as a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Rye Neck High School supposedly refused to approve the JW Student's purposed "project" on "establishment clause" grounds. One article even indicated that the again unnamed JW Student then refused to perform any other type project, so failed to meet the school's requirements for graduation, and thus the JW Student failed to receive their high school diploma.
Possibly, the JW Student was not either of these plaintiffs, and the JW Student scenario was only briefly mentioned in briefs and/or oral arguments in this case, or even possibly, one of the two plaintiffs was that JW student and his parents, and although the issue of the JW "door-knocking" project was not part of this case, because such was seen as a certain losing issue, possibly the JWs were sufficiently irritated to go forward on other issues that might have stood a better chance of getting the "community service" requirement declared "unconstitutional".
ARKANSAS v. BRIGHT. In March 1991, Susan Bright, of Pulaski County, Arkansas, refused to allow her 7 year-old son, Jason Bright, to be immunized against polio, diphtheria, measles, whooping cough, and other childhood illnesses due to her religious beliefs. Although unconfirmed, there are multiple indications that the Brights were either Jehovah's Witnesses, or otherwise held WatchTower beliefs. Because of the refusal, Jason Bright was not permitted to enter the first grade. Eventually, truancy charges were presses against Susan Bright. However, a local judge instead issued a court order requiring the local school system to admit the child without benefit of immunizations.
IN RE CURTIS H. (Linked PDF) was a 1984 Georgia case which involved Jehovah's Witness Parents fighting with the Atlanta School Board about whether their first grader, who was home-schooled instead of being sent to pre-school and kindergarten, should be evaluated for "learning, social adjustment, and speech problems" sufficient to cause the child to be classified as "handicapped". Typically, the parents blamed the school system for being "prejudiced" against Jehovah's Witnesses. The other allegations were probably moot.
MARYLAND v. TERRY MILLER and KATHLEEN MILLER was a 1982-84 criminal prosecution of Maryland's compulsory school attendance law after the Millers removed their two children from school rather than allow their two children to be vaccinated. Outcome unknown.
OHIO v. KIMES and OHIO v. KIMES were two related 1952 and 1953 Ohio cases in which Woodrow Kimes, a Jehovah's Witness, refused to permit his son to receive immunizations required for public school attendance due to WatchTower teachings that certain immunizations contained blood parts. For the second refusal, Kimes was sentenced to 10 days in county jail.
NEW HAMPSHIRE v. DREW was a 1935 criminal court "truancy" case, which involved a Dover, New Hampshire, Jehovah's Witness, named Lawrence E. Drew. Lawrence Drew refused to have his son, Othnell Drew, 8, properly vaccinated, due to their WatchTower beliefs, which was a state requirement for school attendance. Drew was found guilty at trial level and appealed. Outcome unknown.
This 11-year-old Jehovah's Witness Student aspires to grow up and earn her living as a part-time Janitor, so she can knock doors for the WatchTower Society.