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Larson v. Provo School District (1999)

09 July 1999 Published in Resolved Cases

Religion & Belief - After a successful career as a correctional officer, Charles Larson decided he wanted to help young people, so he went back to school and became a public school teacher. In his spare time, he pursued scholarly religious studies from his traditional Christian perspective. Shortly after publishing a scholarly exegesis of the Book of Abraham, considered by LDS Church faithful to be ancient scripture, Larson was terminated from his teaching position in the Provo School District, ostensibly as part of a reduction in force.

Some time later, Larson became aware of information that indicated that his termination was in fact based on religious discrimination. Upon a full investigation of his employment discrimination complaint, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission concurred. Nevertheless, the district refused to mediate or even to speak with Larson, so he approached us for help. In January 1999, the ACLU of Utah and cooperating attorneys Ralph Chamness and Jensie Anderson filed a complaint for violation of Title VII as well as the United States Constitution. By providing a copy of the complaint to the Utah Attorney General’s office and engaging in open dialogue with defense counsel, we were happily able to resolve Larson’s case to his satisfaction out of court.