Student Sues School for Punishing her for Atheist Views

Cidney Fisk

Cidney Fisk graduated from the Delta County School District in Colorado in 2016. She was an excellent student involved in student government. Cidney was a student body treasurer in her senior year and a reporter on the student magazine, the Delta Paw Print. She also was a member of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and placed 6th nationwide in impromptu speaking at FBLA’s 2015 National Leadership Conference in Chicago, Illinois.

On the other hand, Cidney was always very vocal about her opinion which is obviously the cause of the problems. She started a Young Democrats Club at DHS, came out as an atheist in her senior year and was critical of her school district’s persistent and illegal mixing of Christian religion with instruction. Cidney first started noticing she was getting treated differently from other students in late 2015, after she started questioning her school’s expenditures.

Cidney Fisk sued the Delta County Joint School District No. 50 claiming teachers gave the A-student a failing grade and sabotaged her college applications because of her atheistic views and opposition to religious proselytizing and instruction in the public school. She is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for economic losses, emotional distress and humiliation.

For example, school board member Kathy Svenson, a Bible camp teacher called Fisk into a meeting and criticized her “attitude” for posting pictures on her private Instagram account of her wearing a school T-shirt at a school football game with hashtags including #notactuallyafan. Cidney was told her attitude was “not suitable as a student leader.”

When John Miller, her government teacher, invited a Navy Seal to speak about drug abuse and his book, “Seal of God,” which mentioned his religious conversion, Fisk asked him “pointed questions about his qualifications.” Just before Spring Break that year, Fisk’s grade in her government class dropped from a near-perfect 98% to 70%.This wasn’t based on any exam or paper but the newspaper article was part of the reason.

When Fisk applied for college, the common application required recommendations from her counselors. Three days before the application deadline, they had not submitted anything for Fisk. It was only, she believes, after constant pestering by herself and her parents that they submitted anything. And those recommendations, according to Fisk, were negative. She was rejected from two schools that were among her top choices.

After all that, the lawsuit notes, Fisk suffered anxiety attacks “that required medical treatments, including hospitalization, and required psychological attention.” The backlash she received from students and adults at her school led to “great and prolonged stress and anxiety, great emotional and psychological pain and distress, depression, temporary and permanent psychological injury, lost and diminished enjoyment of life, expenses for past, current and future medical and psychological treatments, lost opportunity to attend the higher education institutions of her choice, lost future income, and other injuries.”

Photo Credits: Baixar Musica Gratis

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