The Christian legal association involved in the Terry Schiavo case has taken up the fight over a castle-in-the-sky mural at a Napa school that some students have complained is too religious.
Napa High School students launched a petition drive last month to stop classmate Kyle Trudelle from painting his mural on a school wall. Students argued that the castle in the clouds looked too much like heaven.
Trudelle, a religious senior who is known at school as “Pastor K,” initially agreed to alter the mural to quell the controversy, but changed his mind after getting a phone call from the Christian Law Association offering help.
“It didn’t sit well with me that I was changing it,” said Trudelle.
Trudelle is being represented by the Christian Law Association and the Gibbs Law Firm, both of Seminole, Fla. Gibbs and the association represented the parents of Terry Schiavo, who waged a years-long battle in national headlines to keep their daughter on life support despite her husband’s wishes. Schiavo died in March.
School officials ordered Trudelle last week to stop painting until the lawyer for Napa Valley Unified School District reviews the situation.
In a May 24 letter to the school, Trudelle’s lawyer, Charlotte Cover, urged the school to let Trudelle continue his painting, saying that it does not violate the separation of church and state because Kyle is not an employee of the school.
“Instead, he is the Napa High School’s client or ‘customer.’ As such, he has the right to religious speech in a government school that principals and teachers do not have,” she wrote.