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News - 2019

July. 2019

Maria Davis quoted in news article on amicus brief filed to support school officials, teachers in curriculum dispute

In a news article on the legal dispute involving the Newton High School curriculum on world history and comparative religions, Todd & Weld attorney Maria Davis observed that the complaint should be dismissed on constitutional grounds.

Ms. Davis and Howard Cooper filed an amicus brief in support of the City of Newton School Committee and other school officials and teachers who are pursuing the dismissal of a complaint that seeks to censor the Newton High School curriculum in the offered comparative religion and world history courses.

Mr. Cooper and Ms. Davis argue that the complaint fails to state any legitimate claim for relief under either the Establishment Clause or Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.   The complaint alleges that the Newton High School curriculum contains material that promotes Islam and is anti-Semitic.

"Based on the allegations in the [plaintiffs’] complaint and attached exhibits, it makes clear there is no Constitutional violation,” Ms. Davis told the publication.

In the article posted on wickedlocal.com, Ms. Davis said, “Students are entitled to have a full and well-rounded education,” and that forcing the school district and teachers to remove curriculum is “detrimental” to the children's education.

The judge in the case pending in federal court in Massachusetts recently heard oral argument on the defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint.

In the amicus brief, Mr. Cooper and Ms. Davis argue on behalf of the amici that the complaint filed by residents of Newton should be dismissed because it seeks to improperly censor legitimate and protected speech by imposing the plaintiffs' viewpoints on others.