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Judge rejects Keeton lawsuit

ASU requirements deemed 'legitimate'

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Augusta State University's requirement that a graduate student read material about counseling gays and increase her exposure to that community after she objected to counseling homosexual clients was "academically legitimate," a federal court judge ruled Friday.

Jennifer Keeton
Jennifer Keeton

U.S. District Judge Randal Hall's decision enables university officials to expel Jennifer Keeton if she does not follow the remediation plan, which professors designed to "address issues of multicultural competence and develop understanding and empathy."

Hall said the case is not about "pitting Christianity against homosexuality," but rather the constitutionality of the school's requirement.

Professors asked Keeton to complete the remediation plan after she said she opposed homosexuality and would tell gay clients "their behavior is morally wrong and then help the client change that behavior," according to an affidavit filed in the case.

Keeton filed a lawsuit against the school in July, alleging the requirement was viewpoint discrimination and a violation of her First Amendment rights.

Hall ruled that Keeton "failed to clearly establish her high burden of persuasion of a 'substantial likelihood' of success of the merits of her case."

She provided no evidence that ASU faculty imposed the remediation plan because they personally disagreed with her views, Hall said.

In an Aug. 11 hearing, ASU professors testified that the plan was not a punishment for voicing her beliefs, but a tool to teach Keeton how to counsel clients while not imposing her views.

"All three professors testified that they never told (Keeton) that she was required to change her religious beliefs in order to stay in the counseling program," Hall wrote.

He noted that Keeton did not testify at the hearing nor present any witnesses in support of her motion.

Hall said Keeton's unwillingness to adhere to the school's viewpoint-neutral code of ethics set by the American Counseling Association constitutes a refusal to complete the curriculum.

Without completing the remediation plan, Keeton was unable to begin classes at the college as part of a practicum. A filing by her lawyers earlier this week said she had begun the work at Augusta Christian School.

Hall ruled the plan was simply a way to teach Keeton how to counsel all demographics of clients.

"It was not (Keeton's) personal beliefs that were their concern, but rather only her inability to separate her personal beliefs in the judgment-free zone of a professional counseling situation," Hall said.

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scoopdedoop64
2366
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scoopdedoop64 08/20/10 - 10:17 pm
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thanks momster59, I was

thanks momster59, I was wanting to read that for myself. I think it best that Keeton withdraw, go to a Christian school and transfer what she can and then graduate. It may take an extra year but after all that has happened that would probably be good for her to evaluate things and then move into her chosen field.

dougk
3
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dougk 08/20/10 - 10:21 pm
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ICL....you are a
Unpublished

ICL....you are a fundamentalist Christian, I am not. I believe in the spirit of Jesus Christ and the principles that he stood upon. And, I certainly do not believe by any stretch of my imagination that homosexulity is "wrong." I think what two or even five or six consenting adults do behind closed doors is none of my business..and also beleive it should be none of yours. But you seem to like to get your nose in the middle of it.

InChristLove
22473
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InChristLove 08/20/10 - 10:21 pm
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fontana, No, Judge Hall is

fontana, No, Judge Hall is not gay.

dougk
3
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dougk 08/20/10 - 10:23 pm
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Thanks for the link, momster.
Unpublished

Thanks for the link, momster. After having read it, what truly boggles my mind is that it took the judge a WEEK and HALF to rule. What mind-altering substance must be be on??

scoopdedoop64
2366
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scoopdedoop64 08/20/10 - 10:26 pm
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LOL, dougk, not everyone is

LOL, dougk, not everyone is as smart as you. He had to actually think about it. LOL Just kidding no insult intended.

InChristLove
22473
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InChristLove 08/20/10 - 10:28 pm
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Now no need to get ugly

Now no need to get ugly dougk. It is not my business what consenting adults do behind closed doors....never said it was. Just because I don't approve of something doesn't mean I'm sticking my nose into the middle of it.

InChristLove
22473
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InChristLove 08/20/10 - 10:34 pm
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dougk, if you think about

dougk, if you think about it....I'm sure this was not the only case Judge Hall has had to handle. It takes time to read all the documents and testimony in this case and a week and a half sounds reasonable.

dougk
3
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dougk 08/20/10 - 10:34 pm
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OK. Let's put is this way,
Unpublished

OK. Let's put is this way, ICL. My precious first born grandchild is being baptized soon, in a Christian church, no less. Her parents, her grandparents the CHRISTIAN church she attends, none of us, will be infusing the belief in her that homosexuals are sinning or that if they don't change their ways, they are evil and going to hell. If a school counselor, when she is an impressionable child, ever tries to tell her differently, people are going to have to hold me back from doing a Judge Overstreet.

dougk
3
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dougk 08/20/10 - 10:49 pm
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You make fine excuse for Jude
Unpublished

You make fine excuse for Jude Hall, ICL. But classes started Monday...this was a bit time-sensitive. And, like he said 1.5 weeks ago...usually all his decisions take about ten minutes....don't you think it's odd that this one took 1.5 weeks??
Did you read the evidence presented??

InChristLove
22473
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InChristLove 08/20/10 - 10:40 pm
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dougk, then I'd say you might

dougk, then I'd say you might believe in Jesus Christ and the principles he stands for, but you wouldn't be following them. It's wonderful that your grandchild is being baptized. My question is, aren't you imposing your beliefs on her, instead of letting her read God's Word and let God be her guide on what is right and what is wrong?

InChristLove
22473
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InChristLove 08/20/10 - 10:58 pm
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You make a valid point,

You make a valid point, dougk. It was a bit time-sensitive, but I think I'll refrain from making statements about what kind of mind-altering substance he might be on. I read exerts of evidence presented but I'm sure they were in more detail than what was posted on the court order. But that's just my view point....you are entitled to yours.

dougk
3
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dougk 08/20/10 - 10:53 pm
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ICL, I'm following the
Unpublished

ICL, I'm following the principles of Jesus Christ much more than you are. But, like you said, that's just my opinion. I'm very satisfied with my interpretation. You can be satisfied with yours....and I can be satisfied with mine. Just don't tell me that my satisfaction doesn't meet your statisfaction and that I and my grandchild are going to hell because we don't meet YOUR satisfaction.

InChristLove
22473
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InChristLove 08/20/10 - 11:04 pm
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I never implied you or your

I never implied you or your grandchild are going to hell.......where in the world did you get that idea. Seems like your reading more into my post due to your defensiveness. If you feel like shooting someone over them telling a grandchild that homosexuality is wrong, I'm sorry but that is not a principle Jesus Christ stands for. Maybe the principle, train up a child in the way they should go and they will never depart from it, would be a better outcome. Why should your grandchild have to go see a counselor in the first place, that's what parents are for and open dialog with your children beats a stranger any day. Evidently you have taken offense to something I have said and I do apologize, although I wish I knew what made you so defensive. Best I close for tonight since you feel MY satisfaction is imposing on YOUR satisfaction...whatever that means. Good night.

dougk
3
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dougk 08/20/10 - 11:11 pm
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well, I guess I owe Socrates
Unpublished

well, I guess I owe Socrates a sincere apology for the accusation of being overly mean-spirited . Although his/her post disappeared...perhaps it was reported and deleted....but he/she hit all nails squarely on the head.

soldout
1280
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soldout 08/20/10 - 11:11 pm
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God's view on sin has stood

God's view on sin has stood the test of time. Man's view is always changing to fit the times. This celebration of sin will end in destruction for those who think they know better than God. This sin stuff never seems to work out for good but many will keep on trying. Good words from scoop. Everyone knows those who do a gay sin are wrong whether they admit it or not. Everyone knows when they sin and they either change their ways or put up a loud defense of their sinful ways.

So crates
0
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So crates 08/20/10 - 11:16 pm
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AC says I'm too mean. That

AC says I'm too mean. That means the editors are telling me to be politically correct (You know, that concept their editorials always deride? I guess it's okay when it's something they support.). So, from now on all of my "insults" will be over the head of those they target. Should be easy. Keeton's still wrong. ASU is still right. Night Night.

soldout
1280
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soldout 08/20/10 - 11:45 pm
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Sounds like Keeton would make

Sounds like Keeton would make a good counselor because she stands for something. Too many try to please and agree with everyone. I think you get more help from a strong person than a weak one.

puppydog
227
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puppydog 08/20/10 - 11:47 pm
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Good ruling, Judge Hall. I

Good ruling, Judge Hall. I agree.She needs to set aside her personal beliefs and prejudices and be impartial and understanding of other lifestyles if she is to be an effective and competent counselor.

datarelease
2
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datarelease 08/20/10 - 11:51 pm
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I read this article out loud

I read this article out loud to my wife; we laughed. High-fived, even.
Then we sat back and laughed again.
And laughed.
And laughed.
I think she needs some more time in her prayer closet.
HAHAHAHA.

psychologyseniorusc
0
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psychologyseniorusc 08/20/10 - 11:54 pm
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I'm glad that the system

I'm glad that the system understands that 'hatred' will not be tollerated, especially in this day and age. she need not be a counselor of anyone, if she has such hatred in her heart, the Lord Jesus Christ even preach that we should treat each other as brothers and sisters. and not judge people. she has stepped out of her role, and was trying to justify her hatred with the misreading of the bible. God has spoken,.

palmetto1007
0
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palmetto1007 08/21/10 - 12:05 am
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Apparently you don't know

Apparently you don't know much about counseling, sold out.

Amen, psychsenior

Riverman1
83619
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Riverman1 08/21/10 - 12:18 am
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I'd do away with the whole

I'd do away with the whole counseling major in college. If schools want to have a couselor, let them pick their teacher with the most common sense, regardless of her sexual views or whatever. It's foolish to think people with low SAT's and a few years of colleges can offer any real advice. Aunt Bee gave better advice than these people do.

If you're crazy see a psychiatrist. If you are having problems in school see a teacher-counselor.

palmetto1007
0
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palmetto1007 08/21/10 - 12:47 am
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wow, Riverman. You're idea

wow, Riverman. You're idea is way off the charts......maybe like in Mayberry??

Jake
32513
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Jake 08/21/10 - 01:32 am
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I think ICL went into his/her

I think ICL went into his/her prayer closet to pray and discovered a homosexual who was trying to get out of their closet.

athome
92
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athome 08/21/10 - 02:18 am
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Thanks to the judge for

Thanks to the judge for considering this objectively. What will happen when this young lady encounters not only the student but also the PARENT who is gay, lesbian, atheist, Mormon, Seventh Day Adventist, Jewish, racist, etc.? Will she tell the yongster how wrong their parent is? A school counselor must be able to work with families with all kinds of belief systems. As an advanced degree, national certified school counselor who has served as a school site supervisor for counselor interns from both ASU and USC, I would have problems with her predjudice as well. School counselors are bound by a code of ethics for their profession. She seems to have said she is not and will not adhere to that code. Perhaps she should pursue her training in a Christian or Pastoral counseling program. There is one at Emory Univ. If she is allowed to receive certification as a school counselor, it will NOT limit her to only Christian schools regardless of where she completes her internship. Doesn't "judge not..." apply to these situations? Would you want someone this judgemental to counsel your children? Your own religious beliefs should be taught to your children away from the school setting.

GGpap
491
Points
GGpap 08/21/10 - 03:28 am
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I've read them all to this

I've read them all to this point...tit for tat...I no single argument stands above another. I’m tired.

However, one point does come to the fore; and, very telling. It places heavy emphasis on the hypocrisy of many christians posting here; it is the subtle (if not blatantly open) suggestion that Ms. Keaton should simple LIE to her professors about having a change in attitude, LIE that she can put her religious beliefs (discrimination) aside in order to complete her program, receive her degree, and go forth in "victory" having deceived her academic advisors into accepting her LIES in order to achieve her undeserved degree.

christians....sheeeeesh!

GGpap

GGpap
491
Points
GGpap 08/21/10 - 03:32 am
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ATHOME, good post, great

ATHOME, good post, great advice!

Asitisinaug
3
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Asitisinaug 08/21/10 - 03:56 am
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This case had nothing to do

This case had nothing to do with religion and everything to do with someone wanting to do what they wanted to do and not follow pre-established rules. To go further, the lawsuit was more for publicity and in of of itself goes against many scriptures.

NoHayManera
140
Points
NoHayManera 08/21/10 - 03:59 am
0
0
All this criticism because

All this criticism because she wants her belief in God to guide her through her career?!?! For goodness sake, she'd receive less B.S. if she'd just sleep with the students she wanted to council.

HTN007
19
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HTN007 08/21/10 - 04:42 am
0
0
Maybe it is time for her to

Maybe it is time for her to read "Art of War" by Sun Tzu? It might make life a lot more bearable................

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