ALL the News about
Mormons, Mormonism
and the LDS Church
Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
Posted 27 Aug 2001   For week ended August 10, 2001
Most Recent Week
Front Page
Local News
Arts & Entertainment
·New Products
·New Websites
·Mormon Stock Index
Letters to Editor
Continuing Coverage of:
Boston Temple
School Prayer
Julie on MTV
Robert Elmer Kleasen
About Mormon News
News by E-Mail
Weekly Summary
Submitting News
Submitting Press Releases
Volunteer Positions
Bad Link?

News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church

Sent on Mormon-News: 09Aug01

By Rosemary Pollock

LDS Drama Student Loses Profanity Case

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- A court room drama ended Friday when U.S. Distric Judge Tena Campbell ruled to dismiss a lawsuit by University of Utah student, Christina Axson-Flynn, who claimed her rights were violated when she received a drama assignment that included reciting a script that contained profane language. The use of profane language was required only as an academic exercise and the curriculum did not take a position on religion according to the Judge Campbell's ruling.

Assistant Utah attorney general, Alain Balmanno, applauded the decision. "The bottom line is you can't have a society in which everything you disagree with is in violation of your constitutional rights," he said. "This is a recognition that we have a system in place where people go to a university in order to learn things with which they may not be familiar or comfortable."

Axson-Flynn argued her rights were violated because her religious beliefs, those of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, prohibit the use of certain words. James McConkie, Axson-Flynn's attorney, said he would appeal the ruling. "The law can be changed favorably in the direction of freedom of expression," McConkie said. Yet, U of U attorney, Balmanno, said that an appeal is expected while calling Friday's ruling "very sound and well-crafted." "We have no reason to believe that Judge Campbell will be overturned."

Axson-Flynn could not be located for comment late Friday. She dropped out of the drama course after the first semester after she told associate professor, Sandy Shotwell, that she would rather withdraw from the program than use profanity. Shotwell required Axson-Flynn to explain her decision to the class. Axson-Flynn was later told by adjunct professor, Barbara Smith, that she would allow her to omit the offensive language and still get credit for the assignment. As roles arose with offensive language, Axson-Flynn said she omitted the inapporopriate language or found substitutes. But in December, 1998, in a review session with some faculty members, Axson-Flynn was told she could no longer be accomodated. Later, she dropped out of the university.

Attorney Steffen Johnson, an expert of First Amendment issues who was brought in to help represent Axson-Flynn, said the case isn't about academic freedom. He argued that his client should not lose her constitutional rights to freedom of speech and religion when she enters the classroom.


Judge tosses suit over profanity
Evansville IN Courier &Press (AP) 5Aug01 P2
By Catherine S. Blake: Associated Press Writer

Judge rejects U. theater student's bias lawsuit
Deseret News 4Aug01 P2
By Maria Titze
Deseret News staff writer

U. drama student's bias suit rejected
Deseret News 4Aug01 P2
By Maria Titze
Deseret News staff writer

See also:

Judge Throws Out U of U Anti-Mormon Discrimination Claims

Is the University of Utah Anti-Mormon?

National Attention to LDS Actress' Profanity Objections Continues

Mormon Actress' Suit Gets National Attention

Mormon Actress Is Suing U.


[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information