Community college sued over ceramics class rules

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by WFAA-TV Staff

wfaa.com

Posted on December 15, 2009 at 7:59 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 15 at 9:56 PM

MESQUITE - Eastfield College is named in a lawsuit over a Ceramics class.

John "Joe" Mitchell is suing for unconstitutional suppression of his right to religious freedom.  According to Liberty Legal Institute, which is representing Mitchell, the college forbids students from making ceramic crosses, and a list of other items.

Mitchell says he made crosses in the past, but starting at the 2009 summer session, the 69-year-old retiree was given a memo in class.

It listed prohibited items, like religious items and seasonal items, including Christmas and Valentine's Day, as well as ashtrays, dog bowls, clock faces, and mugs with names, states, football teams, or birthday greetings.

Eastfield responded to the lawsuit, saying the rules are intended to compel students to make original works and avoid duplicate projects, not to circumvent artistic freedom.  The college says legal counsel will review the policy, and amend the language to make the policy more clear.

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