Practice Area: Litigation
Outcome: Successful Third Circuit Court of Appeals Decision
Description: A June 1, 2009 precedential opinion of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, written by Chief Judge Scirica and joined by Judge Barry, held that a public school district upheld the law when it had requested that a mother refrain from reading aloud from the Bible to an audience of kindergarten students as part of a mandatory classroom exercise. The case is Donna Kay Busch v. Marple Newtown School District, et al. The Court held that “a reading from the Bible or other religious text is more than a message and unquestionably conveys a strong sense of spiritual and moral authority. In this case, the audience is involuntary and very young. Parents of public school kindergarten students may reasonably expect their children will not become captive audiences to an adult’s reading of religious texts.” Mark A. Sereni, Esquire of the law firm of DiOrio & Sereni, LLP was lead counsel for the School District and successfully argued the case before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.