Education A Washington Roundup

Supreme Court Denies Appeal by Christian School

By Andrew Trotter — January 03, 2006 1 min read

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review an employment dispute that tests the validity of an arbitration agreement between a Christian school and its principal that invoked Christian principles.

The appeal in Northlake Christian School v. Prescott (Case No. 05-453) involved an employment contract in which the school principal promised to abide by certain principles in the Bible as part of her employment.

After an arbitrator decided a dispute over her dismissal in favor of the principal, Pamela L. Prescott, and awarded her $150,000, the 630-student school in Covington, La., attempted to get the award overturned in federal district court.

In July, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, in New Orleans, unanimously upheld the arbitrator’s finding. The panel ruled that both parties had agreed to have their relationship governed by the Bible and certain arbitration rules. The Supreme Court declined without comment on Dec. 12 to hear the school’s appeal.