After initially accepting a music teacher's application for employment, a California charter school suddenly reversed course. It's now facing a lawsuit for religious discrimination.
Dimitra Solomos was told by school officials they would not permit old spiritual songs such as "Amazing Grace" as part of her curriculum – and instructed her to either remove them or cover them in her piano method books. When she refused to compromise her faith, the school denied her application. Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute says his firm is suing Sky Mountain Charter School on Solomos' behalf.
"This school had absolutely no justifiable reason to prevent her from being hired," the attorney tells OneNewsNow. "... The reason she was not hired was because of her faith and because of the fact that she would not hide her faith."
According to her website, Solomos has been teaching piano for more than 27 years in private schools and maintains her own private studio. Dacus says the Placerville-based school even objected to the studio name – "His Song Piano" – saying it was too religious.
"Her constitutional rights were violated and her civil rights were violated because this school district singled her out because of her religious beliefs, her faith, and her inclusion of religious music as a part of a broad spectrum program for her students," Dacus adds.
He says the suit is seeking injunctive relief so she can be hired, and seeks any damages Solomos could incur if she is not hired.
Sky Mountain Charter School serves six California counties. It is managed by Innovative Education Management, which manages two other charter schools serving another dozen counties in the Golden State.