People for Legal and Non-Sectarian Schools (PLANS) is an organization based in California in the United States which campaigns against the public funding of Waldorf methods charter schools alleging they violate the United States Constitution's separation of church and state. The group claims independent Waldorf schools and public Waldorf methods charter schools teach anthroposophical content, that this content is religious in nature, and that the schools disguise the anthroposophical content from the public. PLANS filed federal suit in 1998 against two California public school districts, Sacramento City Unified School District and Twin Ridges Elementary School District, to halt the Waldorf methods educational programs implemented in two of their schools. The case was ultimately dismissed on its merits in 2012.
The group was founded in 1995 and became a California non-profit corporation in 1997. Its founding officers, president Debra Snell and secretary Dan Dugan are former Waldorf school parents. The organization numbered less than 50 members when the lawsuit was brought.
- 1 Mission statement
- 2 PLANS lawsuit
- 3 History of the public activity of the group
- 4 Criticism of PLANS
- 5 Argumentation by Waldorf methods charter schools and PLANS
- 6 Waldorf educators and public Waldorf methods education
- 7 References
- 8 External links
The group describes its mission as to
- "Provide parents, teachers, and school boards with views of Waldorf education from outside the cult of Rudolf Steiner."
- "Expose the illegality of public funding for Waldorf school programs in the US."
- "Litigate against schools violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment in the US."
In February 1998, PLANS filed suit against two California public school districts, Sacramento Unified School District and Twin Ridges Elementary School District operating Waldorf-methods schools; one operating a Waldorf based charter school and the other operating a Waldorf based magnet school. In the complaint PLANS argued that it was "informed and believes that a primary purpose and primary effect of said operation of Waldorf schools is to advance religion, including the religious doctrines of Anthroposophy", and as such were acting in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution and Article IX of the California Constitution.
In response to PLANS' 1999 Motion for Summary Judgement, the Court ruled against their contention that the primary purpose of the program in those schools was to advance religion, finding that the two school districts targeted have a secular, non-religious purpose for implementing Waldorf teaching methods in their schools, but allowed the case to proceed on the second question, whether a primary effect of the programs may be the unintended consequence of endorsing any religion to an extent that violates the Constitution.
Case dismissed on its merits
The trial was scheduled on September 12, 2005, and was expected to run for 16 days. The presiding judge determined two issues to be decided in the trial. The first issue was to determine if anthroposophy is a religion for Establishment Clause purposes - the defendants contended it was not. The second issue, which required first an affirmative ruling that anthroposophy is a religion for Establishment Clause purposes, would decide whether the public schools in those two districts were promoting anthroposophy to an extent that violated the U.S. Constitution.
The trial convened as scheduled, but ended in 30 minutes after PLANS failed in their legal burden to present an offer of proof (proffer) of evidence sufficient to prove anthroposophy was a religion. PLANS' attorney told the court PLANS could not meet its burden, and that as a result of earlier evidentiary rulings before the court, it could furnish no witnesses at trial to testify anthroposophy was a religion. PLANS did attempt to introduce one piece of documentary evidence on the religion issue. Arguments were heard, but no evidence was presented during the trial. The court ruled that PLANS failed its evidentiary burden of proof, and ordered the case be dismissed on the merits.
Decision is appealed
PLANS filed a notice of appeal of the decision in November, 2005. The appeal claims that the earlier rulings preventing PLANS from calling two defense expert witnesses for their own case-in-chief left them no witnesses able to give evidence that anthroposophy was a religion. The earlier rulings resulted from pretrial motions submitted six months prior to trial. The two witnesses PLANS wished to call were first disclosed by the defendants as witnesses against PLANS in the case. PLANS argues in the appeal that an automatic disclosure rule cited by the judge, though in effect at the time of trial in 2005, was not in effect in 1998 when the case was filed, and claims the witnesses were fully disclosed under the applicable rules.
Case again dismissed on its merits
In November 2010, the judge in the case dismissed it on its merits a second time. With the exception of one item, the Bylaws of the Anthroposophical Society, all of the plaintiff's evidence was either withdrawn before trial or excluded at trial as inadmissible hearsay. The plaintiff called one percipient witness, not friendly to their cause, and no expert witnesses. In his ruling, the judge cited the plaintiff's attempts to elicit from a percipient witness testimony only allowable from an expert witness, and their "complete failure to present percipient testimony relevant to the essential issues in the case" as already sufficient basis for an adverse judgment. He added, however, that aside from the plaintiff's effective failure to present a viable case, "the evidence suggests that anthroposophy is a method of learning which is available to anyone regardless of their religious or philosophical persuasion. Stated another way, anthroposophy is more akin to a methodology or approach to learning as opposed to a religious doctrine or organized set of beliefs." The judge concluded by giving a detailed analysis on the basis of a number of determining factors why anthroposophy should not be judged a religion for Establishment Clause purposes.
After its first ruling in 1999, the U.S. District Court—Eastern District of California has issued key rulings on the case in 2001, 2004 and 2005:
- In 2001, the Court dismissed the case. A legal precedent set earlier in a similar case in New York, though not related to Waldorf education, led the Court to find that PLANS lacked grounds to claim taxpayer standing in the case. After an appeal by PLANS, the US 9th Circuit Appellate Court in February 2003 reversed the decision on taxpayer standing by the lower court, allowing the case to proceed towards trial.
- In May 2004, PLANS filed a motion for summary judgment, or, in the alternative, summary adjudication, requesting that the Court rule that anthroposophy is a religion, based on material presented by PLANS. But the Court did not accept these arguments, and on 15 November 2004 denied the motion, stating that "triable issues of material fact exist as to whether Anthroposophy is a religion". The Court also provided a new opportunity for both sides to declare witnesses and evidence, with a deadline of January 2005 for disclosure of these.
- In April 2005, the Court issued an order outlining the trial issues and the evidentiary and procedural guidelines for the trial, scheduled for September 12, 2005. The court separated the issues, stating that it would be first necessary to try the question of whether anthroposophy was a religion, and secondly, whether anthroposophy was present in the schools. The order denied PLANS eleven witnesses, for failure by its attorney to make timely disclosure to Defendants, and 105 of PLANS' exhibits, as a result of discovery sanctions.
- In June, 2009, PLANS' lawyer for the case tendered his "resignation with disciplinary charges pending" from the California Bar; previous disciplinary charges in 2007 and 2008 had cited willful violations of the professional code.
- In August, 2010 the second trial is set to begin in federal court in Sacramento.
- In November, 2010 the ruling on the second trial was published, with a finding against the plaintiff (PLANS) and for the defendants. An appeal was planned with the support of the Pacific Justice Institute.
- In 2012, PLANS' appeal was heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. The Court affirmed the 2010 ruling and the case was dismissed on its merits.
History of the public activity of the group
PLANS secretary Dan Dugan delivered prepared presentations to various organizations and PLANS distributed packets of prepared print materials to school boards which were at the time considering adopting Waldorf methods in their districts. Dugan also established a webpage for the organization and moderated a public email discussion list, devoted to topics on the Waldorf curriculum, anthroposophy, and to discussion related to the Waldorf schools.
In February 1996, Dugan delivered a slide presentation to the school board in Twin Ridges Elementary School District. The district had been operating a Waldorf methods charter school for two years. In response to Dugan's presentations, a local committee formed, headed by Baptist pastor, James Morton, and members of the committee argued both in public meetings and through the local media outlets that the school's teachings were in conflict with the US constitution's provision regarding the separation of church and state. Morton soon joined PLANS and took a place on its governing board.
PLANS contacted the California Attorney General in March 1997, arguing for an investigation into Waldorf Methods public schools statewide, urging the officer to act immediately to end the funding of all such schools.
In April 1997, Dugan delivered arguments against the public funding of Waldorf methods education to a board meeting of the Yuba County Office of Education in Marysville, California. The county operated two schools for juvenile offenders which were both engaged in an experimental project to develop a nationally-replicable Waldorf-based educational model. Shortly after this meeting, PLANS set up a picket line at one of the Yuba County Waldorf-based schools. One of the school's teachers joined the PLANS campaign and became Vice-President of their governing board.
In spring 1996, PLANS made its first contact with the Sacramento Unified School District to urge district officials there to discontinue their planned Waldorf methods magnet school program. Conversion to the new program was funded in its first two years by a $491,000 federal grant, much of it used to begin training the school's faculty in the Waldorf approach. The magnet program proceeded as planned, and Waldorf methods were adopted at the beginning of the 1996/97 school year at Oak Ridge Elementary School. A parent survey conducted in the following spring indicated parents were mostly satisfied with this new teaching program. Attendance improved and none of the enrolled students applied for transfer during the district's "open enrollment" period. But 11 of the 26 teachers requested transfers from Oak Ridge School - half for personal reasons, and the rest objecting to the Waldorf teacher training or to its educational philosophy.
On April 30, 1997, PLANS officials distributed leaflets entitled, "Save Oak Ridge School From the Steiner Cult".
Parents formed a local committee called "Concerned Citizens for Oak Ridge School". In May, news media reported that controversial statements had been made by parents during an Oak Ridge meeting, accusing the school of teaching the students about witchcraft, human sacrifices, and religious altars, and charging that the children were being initiated into a cult.
Soon after, PLANS held protests in front of the school, and picketers waved flags and anti-Waldorf signs, some demanding the termination of two staff members in the school.
In a newspaper interview in May, Dugan commented on the independent Waldorf school in Davis: "They believe that there are spirits behind everything. I know there are people who would call that evil. (They) would consider anthroposophy a satanic religion." Dugan, described the educators as "misguided", not "evil".
In the summer of 1997, district officials voted unanimously to continue the Waldorf methods magnet program, but to relocate it to another campus, John Morse Elementary. PLANS sought legal assistance and found lawyer Scott Kendall, an attorney affiliated with the Christian evangelical legal organization, the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI). The PJI applied for a grant on behalf of PLANS, seeking to raise funds from the evangelical Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) to initiate PLANS' legal suit against public school districts operating Waldorf methods schools. The PJI application alleged the Sacramento school engaged in "Wicca" based practices, religious proselytizing and coercion, and that a third of the parents had kept their children home from school in protest. A video copy of a local televised news report about the controversy accompanied the application.
ADF awarded a $15,000 grant in February 1998, and immediately after, PLANS filed suit against Sacramento City Unified School District and Twin Ridges Elementary School District, demanding a permanent injunction against the implementation of the Waldorf methods curriculum in the schools, as well as full reimbursement for all legal costs. PLANS entered into a signed agreement with the Concerned Citizens for Oak Ridge School, promising the organization that in exchange for their efforts assisting PLANS in the lawsuit, PLANS would share one-fifth of any proceeds awarded in the event of a favorable judgement and "cost multiplier" fines imposed.
In December 2000 PLANS hired a private detective to attend a voluntary Winter's Solstice celebration for K-3rd graders which took place in the evening in a privately rented meeting hall. The detective videotaped the ceremony. PLANS played the tape in a presentation to a school board in Chico, California, as evidence that Waldorf teaching methods are religious.
In ongoing challenges against the Waldorf methods public schools in other districts, PLANS pointedly referenced their pending lawsuit, warning that other districts too would face expensive legal challenges if they allowed Waldorf based methods in any of their schools. PLANS' challenges against Waldorf methods charter schools in the Chico Unified and Ross Valley school districts resulted in the denial of pending charter school proposals there. However, the proponents of those charters soon reapplied in alternative districts nearby and both charters were accepted: the Blue Oaks Charter School, opened September 2001 under Chico's Butte County Office of Education, and the Waldorf-Inspired School of Lagunitas, opened September 2004 under Lagunitas School District. Sacramento Unified, Twin Ridges Elementary, and Yuba County districts also continue to operate their Waldorf methods programs. Today, there are 19 public schools in California that have adopted the Waldorf methods.
Criticism of PLANS
The Oak Ridge School in Sacramento became the target of threats and accusations that its teachers led children through witchcraft and sorcery practices in the classroom. While neither of these accusations could be attributed to PLANS, school officials accused PLANS of playing to public prejudices and paranoia, and arousing anxieties in the community by presenting a distorted view of their teachings to the parents of the school, most of whom weren't English proficient. Local picketers who joined the PLANS protest against Oak Ridge credited the PLANS leaflets as the initial source of their concerns, and the town's newspaper concurred, pointing to data from the school which indicated that since introducing Waldorf methods there had been positive impacts on absenteeism, voluntary re-enrollment, as well as overall parent satisfaction as measured shortly before PLANS' appearance at the school. The paper's editor accused PLANS of alarming parents with claims for which there was no evidence, including the suggestion that Waldorf methods were disguised witchcraft teachings.
Public school officials in California's Marysville, Twin Ridges, Novato and Butte schools criticized PLANS as well; a principal in the Yuba County District, which was the target of PLANS' protests over their two Waldorf methods schools, expressed outrage over "the lies, the distortion of facts" when questioned by a reporter. In reference to the PLANS lawsuit, the Nevada County superintendent of schools characterized it as "despicable" to have to redirect moneys from teachers and curriculum to pay legal costs, and insisted there was no merit to PLANS' accusations. The accuracy and expertise of PLANS officials also came under attack during lawsuit witness hearings. Six of the PLANS board directors and advisors sought to testify as expert witnesses in the case, but each was eliminated due to their lack of expertise on the subjects of anthroposophy and Waldorf education: three were eliminated by the court judge, and the other three subsequently withdrawn voluntarily by PLANS' attorney, Kendall. After reviewing key sections of the deposition testimony taken of PLANS' most vocal spokesperson, Dugan, the judge expressed "grave doubts about any reliance upon his opinions about anything that has to do with any intellectual endeavor, including anthroposophy" before ruling that Dugan would not be allowed to give testimony in the trial.
When PLANS succeeded in convincing board members in Ross Valley and Chico school districts to vote against proposed Waldorf methods charters there, both proposals were welcomed by other school districts nearby, allowing the new schools to go forward., Local news commentators in one of the targeted communities castigated their local school district for caving to PLANS' threat of a lawsuit, and showcased the episode as one of the most notably "boneheaded or downright wrong things" of the past year.
The Anthroposophical Society in America (ASA), which is the legal representative of anthroposophy in the United States, has challenged PLANS over PLANS' characterizations of anthroposophy, as well as PLANS' suggestion that the anthroposophical movement has a direct interest or involvement in the growth of Waldorf teaching methods in the public schools. These were two claims PLANS made in its May 28, 2004, "Motion for Summary Judgement". Though not a direct party to the case, the ASA petitioned the court's permission to respond to this trial motion as a "friend of the court". The court granted ASA's petition, and in July 2004, the organization submitted an 18 page legal brief to the court challenging PLANS' assertions.
Argumentation by Waldorf methods charter schools and PLANS
Advocates of public Waldorf education claim that Waldorf methods (charter) schools should be able to receive public funding. PLANS claims that although Waldorf representatives often state that a public "Waldorf methods" program has been structured so as not to violate the U.S. Constitution, these schools nevertheless have religious underpinnings. Private Waldorf schools celebrate religious festivals and observe religious holidays, for instance. PLANS asserts that in public Waldorf methods schools these activities are not always avoided and are sometimes simply renamed. PLANS alleges that morning verses recited in the public school in which children thank the sun for its warmth are actually prayers, and claim that the sun is a metaphor Steiner used to refer to Christ. In public Waldorf methods schools in the U.S., "God" has been removed from the verse and replaced with "the Sun" to avoid violation of the U.S. Constitution. PLANS claims this is a cosmetic and not a substantive change.
PLANS also claims that not only private, but also public, Waldorf methods schools are anthroposophical institutions. According to PLANS, public Waldorf teachers are required in most cases to take Waldorf teacher training in which they are asked to read works almost exclusively by Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Waldorf education, the focus of which are Steiner's tenets of anthroposophy.
The two Waldorf methods public schools PLANS brought to court presented numerous witnesses and introduced documents which contradicted this claim. The judge ruled that PLANS could not introduce evidence taken in the context of the private and independent Waldorf schools to argue their case against the public Waldorf-methods schools. The court ruled that private schools are separate entities, and insisted evidence be limited to policies and practices in effect within the litigated public school districts. The two schools furnished statements and documents in this case showing that the teachers in their Waldorf methods schools were held to the same state mandated training and credential requirements as the teachers in other public schools in those districts. In response to a demand to prepare a complete list of all Waldorf-related documents and reading materials related to training or instruction in Waldorf teaching methods, neither school district identified a single text written by Rudolf Steiner. Betty Staley, the Rudolf Steiner College staff member who developed the public teacher training program, testified the college's 1993-1994 Teacher Training Booklists did not apply to the public teacher training program, and that only one of the texts from the lists, Steiner's Philosophy of Freedom, was used by the program.
In their trial case, PLANS did not repeat their claim that these or other texts by Steiner were required in the public Waldorf-methods teacher training. However, they did claim that the schools "provide[d] books for its teachers that are filled with Anthroposophical doctrine", and that teachers were "hire[d] because of their Anthroposophical training." According to Staley's testimony, references to spirituality were eliminated from the public Waldorf teachers’ training materials to meet state standards. One teacher who had participated in this program before adopting Waldorf methods in her teaching in the Oak Ridge, and later John Morse schools, reported that Steiner’s philosophy was alluded to in her training and that teachers who wanted to learn more could pay for their own classes, but that most of her colleagues from Morse did not pursue any anthroposophical training in the course of becoming public Waldorf methods teachers.
PLANS claims the basis of anthroposophy is esoteric Christianity. In court documents, PLANS argued that Rudolf Steiner considered himself a Christian and that he considered anthroposophy to be a Christian form of theosophy and Rosicrucianism. PLANS argued that Steiner himself described anthroposophy as a training to access skills of psychic awareness latent in each human being, and argued that the discipline 'spiritual science' is not a true science nor philosophy, but a theology. PLANS acknowledged that Steiner's supporters frequently concede the spiritual foundations of anthroposophy and Waldorf education, but claimed they make a false distinction between spiritual and religious. PLANS considered anthroposophy to be part of a New Age religious movement, characterized by its seekers' rejection of orthodoxy and creedal forms of religious expression in favor of a more eclectic and individualized path of spiritual-psychological transformation, a process which PLANS claimed to be generally acknowledged as "religious experience".
PLANS wanted the court to agree that Waldorf methods schools lead students through New Age rituals and interpret them as religious practices. It also wanted the court to agree that in the schools, anthroposophy permeates every subject, and that the underlying theory of the education is based on theology, not philosophy. In order to do this, PLANS first needed to convince the court that anthroposophy was a religion. This attempt was unsuccessful, and PLANS seeks to reverse the decision in appeals court.
Waldorf educators and public Waldorf methods education
Some supporters of Waldorf education have suggested that Waldorf education does not belong in government schools. Eugene Schwartz is a prominent teacher and author who has stated that he agreed with Dugan that Waldorf education could not properly be separated from anthroposophy. In Schwartz's view, although Waldorf education is not sectarian, the children are intended to have inwardly religious experiences. In his speech he exemplified this with the way the origin and history of the Jews is taught in grade three in independent Waldorf schools. Schwartz was fired from his position at a teaching college shortly after the speech, and in a later interview, claimed there were many other Waldorf teachers who agreed with him but were afraid to speak out. In Schwartz's opinion, Waldorf education has the goal of making "everything sacramental", and that "willing, feeling, and thinking" are "soul forces" which are intentionally brought to every aspect of the education. Schwartz objected to educators who would reject the movement's religious aspect to suit the requirements of public education. In the interview, Schwartz lamented the fact that, in his view, public Waldorf methods schools are watered-down imitations of authentic Waldorf education.
Schwartz has since become an active promoter of Waldorf education in charter and public schools.
- Deposition testimony by Debra Snell, PLANS vs SCUSD, TRESD 1999
- "Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief", PLANS, Inc v Sacramento City Unified School District and Twin Ridges Elementary School District, filed U.S. District Court Eastern District of California No. Civ. S 98-266, filed 2/11/98
- "Memorandum and Order", dated 9/24/99, PLANS, Inc v Sacramento City Unified School District and Twin Ridges Elementary School District, filed U.S. District Court Eastern District of California No. Civ. S 98-266. As to "primary purpose", see p18 section "i. Secular Purpose", "The question is whether the school districts can articulate any secular purpose for adopting the Waldorf teaching method....PLANS concedes that the school districts have done so, and presents no relevant evidence casting doubt on those articulations." As to "primary effect", see p19 section "ii. Primary Effect", "PLANS has raised a disputed issue of material fact concerning the religious underpinnings of Waldorf education and whether public funding of Waldorf education has the unintended consequence of advancing Anthroposophy."(p22)
- "Third Amended Pretrial Conference Order" dated 4/19/2005, PLANS, Inc v Sacramento City Unified School District and Twin Ridges Elementary School District, filed U.S. District Court Eastern District of California No. Civ. S 98-266. p15, "A bench trial is scheduled for September 12, 2005. The estimated length of trial is sixteen days." p14, "XVI:Separate Trial of Issues: Trial shall be bifurcated. Trial solely on the issue of whether anthroposophy is a religion shall precede trial of all remaining issues. Trial of remaining issues, if necessary, will immediately follow trial solely on the issue of whether anthroposophy is a religion."
- "Transcript of Court Trial" held 9/12/05 before Judge Frank C. Damrell, Jr., PLANS, Inc v Sacramento City Unified School District and Twin Ridges Elementary School District, filed U.S. District Court Eastern District of California No. Civ. S 98-266. Transcript notes trial commenced at 1:30 p.m. and concluded 2:01 pm. Quotes from transcripts, (The Court): "The Court indicated the issue of whether anthroposophy is a religion for establishment causes is indeed the threshold issue. I have reviewed the trial briefs of the parties, I have looked at the exhibit list and the witness list, and in doing so, as I indicated in the past, I'm going to require a proffer, Mr. Kendall, on that issue." (Mr. Kendall):"The only witnesses that we would have been able to offer with regard to this question of anthroposophy--I worked on alternative ways of doing it--would be [named]. You've excluded both of those on the grounds I did not disclose them. I don't think that's the case, but that is the Court's order. Without those witnesses, I don't believe we'll be able to sustain our burden of proof." (The Court): Then you have no proffer; that's what you're telling me?" (Mr. Kendall): "That's what I'm telling you." See also proffer.
- "Findings of Fact and Conclusion of Law", "5. At the trial on September 12, 2005, the court required Plaintiff to make an offer of proof as to how it would prove that anthroposophy is a religion for Establishment Clause purposes given its limited exhibits and witnesses. 6. Plaintiff's counsel first stated that he had "no proffer" based on the court's prior ruling...7. Plaintiff's counsel then stated that he had one item of evidence to support Plaintiff's case that anthroposophy is a religion, namely, Plaintiff's Exhibit 89...11. Plaintiff did not proffer any further exhibits or witnesses on the issue of whether anthroposophy is a religion for Establishment Clause purposes. 12. Plaintiff rested its case on the threshold issue of whether anthroposophy is a religion...B. Conclusions of Law: 1. Plaintiff failed to carry its evidentiary burden of establishing that anthroposophy is a religion for purposes of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the [constitution]. 2. Plaintiff's only proffered evidence, Exhibit 89, is inadmissible for a variety of reasons. Plaintiff did not offer any foundation to support admissibility of the Exhibit, nor did Plaintiff authenticate the Exhibit. Moreover, the Exhibit is rank hearsay and is not an "adoptive admission" under the exception to the hearsay rule...IT IS ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the Plaintiff take nothing, that the action be dismissed on the merits, and that Defendants recover their costs."
- "United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Civil Appeals Docketing Statement", PLANS, Inc., Plaintiff-Appellant v Sacramento City Unified School District, Twin Ridges Elementary School District, USCA Docket # 05-17193
- "Appleant's Opening Brief" [sic], filed 3/13/2006, United States Court of Appeals For the Ninth Circuit, PLANS, Inc. v Sacramento City Unified School District, Twin Ridges Elementary School District, # 05-17193, "The case was bifurcated with the matter of whether or not Anthroposophy was a religion to be tried first. All of the witnesses PLANS intended to use for this part of the trial had been excluded by the court, and PLANS could not proceed."
- "Amended Pretrial Conference Order", dated 3/16/206, PLANS, Inc v Sacramento City Unified School District and Twin Ridges Elementary School District, # 05-17193, p10, "Plaintiff will not be permitted to call defendant's designated expert witnesses or defendants' previously-designated expert witnesses."
- "Appleant's Opening Brief" [sic], filed 3/13/2006, United States Court of Appeals For the Ninth Circuit, PLANS, Inc. v Sacramento City Unified School District, Twin Ridges Elementary School District, # 05-17193, "No party ever disclosed under Rule 26, as this case originated in 1997[sic], when the Eastern District had opted out of Rule 26. All of the discovery in this case, by all parties, had been conducted through propounded discovery--depositions, interrogatories, admissions, request for production of documents."
- PLANS, Inc. v. Sacramento City Unified School District, 2:98-cv-00266-FCD-EFB (United States District Court Eastern District of California November 5, 2010).
- Judge Tosses Out Suit Over Waldorf Method in 2 Sacramento Schools
- "Appelles' Brief", filed 4/26/2006, PLANS, Inc. Plaintiff and Appellant v Sacramento City Unified School District; Twin Ridges Elementary School District" United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit #05-17193 p5, "On April 6, 2001, School Districts filed a Notice of New Authority citing Altman v Bedford Central Sch. Dist based on School Districts' continued belief that PLANS did not have proper taxpayer standing.The district court then ordered additional briefing on the question of taxpayer standing.As a result, and based on the new authority, the district court entered judgement in favor of School Districts based on PLANS' lack of taxpayer standing. PLANS appealed that decision to the Ninth Circuit, claiming that it had taxpayer standing because it alleged the entire curriculum at the schools were inherently religious and thus were akin to a publicly funded Catholic charter school.The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's ruling on standing on the basis of the analogy comparing Waldorf methods schools to hypothetical publicly funded Catholic charter schools."
- "Notice of Motion and Motion for Summary Judgement, or, in the Alternative, Summary Adjudication" dated 6/25/2004, filed 5/28/2004, PLANS, Inc v Sacramento City Unified School District and Twin Ridges Elementary School District, filed U.S. District Court Eastern District of California No. Civ. S 98-266, p1 "Notice is given that on June 25, 2004, or as soon thereafter as counsel may be heard by the above entitled court, plaintiff will and hereby does move the court for summary judgement on the ground that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgement as a matter of law for the reason that, as a matter of law, Anthroposophy is a religion for constitutional purposes under the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution, and that, based on the undisputed material facts and admissions of defendant's employees, the use of the term Waldorf by defendants, the training of teachers at Anthroposophical institutions at public expense, the admitted relationship between Anthroposophy and Waldorf education, the conduct of spiritual events by teachers, and/or curriculum decision s based upon Anthroposophical principles, each independently, and together, create an impermissible advancement of religion and/or excessive entanglement between government and religion. Plaintiff, therefore, prays for summary judgement and that this court grant its request for a permanent injunction, enjoining the operation of public Waldorf schools, or Waldorf methods schools. In the alternative, plaintiff prays for summary adjudication on the issue of whether or not Anthroposophy is a religion for the purposes of constitutional analysis under the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution."
- "Memorandum and Order" dated 11/15/2004, PLANS, Inc v Sacramento City Unified School District and Twin Ridges Elementary School District, filed U.S. District Court Eastern District of California No. Civ. S 98-266, p5 "In order for PLANS to successfully move for summary judgement in this matter, PLANS must prove it is entitled to judgement as a matter of law on two related issues: (1) whether anthroposophy constitutes a "religion" for Establishment Clause purposes; and (2) if anthroposophy is a religion, whether there is anthroposophical curriculum at the two public Waldorf-method schools at issue, thereby constituting a violation of the Establishment Clause. PLANS has failed to demonstrate that there exists genuine issue as to any material fact on both matters." p9, Conclusion: Triable issues of material fact exist as to whether anthroposophy is a religion, as well as whether the Waldorf method of education implemented at John Morse and Yuba River advances and promotes anthroposophy. Therefore, PLANS's motion for summary judgment is DENIED"
- "Third Amended Pretrial Conference Order" dated 4/19/2005, PLANS, Inc v Sacramento City Unified School District and Twin Ridges Elementary School District, filed U.S. District Court Eastern District of California No. Civ. S 98-266. p14, "Trial shall be bifurcated. Trial solely on the issue of whether anthroposophy is a religion shall precede trial of all remaining issues. Trial of remaining issues, if necessary, will immediately follow trial solely on the issue of whether anthroposophy is a religion." p5, "Defendants' Motion In Limine No. 11: The court granted, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(c), defendants' motion to exclude trial witnesses listed by plaintiff who were not disclosed to defendants during discovery. The following witnesses are excluded from testifying: [11 named]. Defendants' Motion in Limine No 12: The court granted defendants' motion to exclude exhibits listed by plaintiff that were not disclosed to defendants pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(c). Pursuant to that ruling, the following exhibits are excluded: Plaintiff's Exhibits Numbers 100-113, 116-118, 120-134, 136-159, 161-169, 171, 174-183, 186-187, 189-192, 194-199, and 201-217."
- California Bar record of disciplinary charges
- first disciplinary charges, second disciplinary charges
- Public Waldorf Schools Booming in Sacramento
- Pacific Justice Institute joins suit against Waldorf charter school, By Malcolm Maclachlan, 02/14/11
- "Memorandum" (PDF). D.C. No. 2:98-cv-00266-FCD-EFB. US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Filed June 7, 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2013. Check date values in:
- Background corporate statement dated 10-25-1999, application for IRS tax exemption. One such presentation was delivered to the Sacramento Atheists and Other Freethinkers on Jun 9, 1996, and Sacramento Bee's Jan Ferris reported in "Will Summer Chill Waldorf Protests" (6/11/1997) that in Sacramento's John Morse Waldorf Methods School's otherwise peaceful first year, some objections to the school were made by Sacramento area atheists protesting the school's inclusion of Old Testament stories and cross-cultural creation myths.
- Susan Lauer, "Parents challenge NC charter school", The Union, Feb 27 1996
- Deposition of James Morton, PLANS, Inc vs Sacramento City Unified School District, Twin Ridges Elementary School District
- Jeff Forward, "Group says teaching methods are religious", Appeal-Democrat, Marysville, CA, May 15, 1997
- Defendant's response to Interrogatories, PLANS, Inc vs Sacramento City Unified School District, Twin Ridges Elementary School District
- "Will Summer Chill Waldorf Protests?", Sacramento Bee, June 11, 1997
- School is teaching witchcraft, critics say Sacramento Bee, May 16, 1997
- California Aggie (Davis), 22 May 1997
- "Davis Primary School Answers Charges of Racism". Robert Shiu, The California Aggie, May 22, 1997.
- Debra Snell, "Dr. Morton's death a tragic loss", The Nevada City Union Aug 23, 2003
- ALLIANCE DEFENSE FUND GRANT REQUEST APPLICATION, dated 18 July 1997, made on behalf of PLANS by Pacific Justice Institute and sent to ADF.
- Letter dated Aug 4, 1998, addressed to Tina Means, Concerned Parents of Oak Ridge School, signed by PLANS directors.
- David Ruenzel, "The Spirit of Waldorf Education", Education Week Vol. 20, Iss. 41 (2001)
- John Michael, "Critic of Waldorf education method urges Chico school board to reject the Blue Oak Charter School", Chico Enterprise-Record, Dec 7, 2000
- Nancy Isles Nation, "Waldorf-style school stirs controversy", Marin Independent Journal, Aug 3, 2003
- Ross Valley School District board minutes dated Oct 1, 2002 and Oct 28, 2003
- Devanie Angel and Laura Smith, "Waldorf critics lose court battle", Chico News and Review, May 31, 2001
- Debra Moon, "From Acorn to Seedling", Chico News and Review, May 30, 2002
- "Waldorf style school stirs controversy", Marin Independent Journal, Aug 2003
- Ivan Gale, "Lagunitas approves Waldorf school", Point Reyes Light, Mar 25 2004
- "Educators Spurn Witchcraft, Cult Allegations by Critics", Sacramento Bee, May 11, 1997
- "School is teaching witchcraft, critics say", Sacramento Bee May 16, 1997
- Editorial: The attack on Oak Ridge Sacramento Bee, June 10, 1997
- "Will Summer Chill Waldorf Protests?", Sacramento Bee, June 11, 1997
- David Mirhadi, "Court revives lawsuit against charter school", The Union, Feb 12 2003
- Reporter's Transcript, PLANS, Inc. vs Sacramento City Unified School District, Twin Ridges Elementary School District, Apr 11, 2001 Document #95
- Devanie Angel, "County board's taste turns to Waldorf", Chico News and Review, July 12, 2001
- Ivan Gale, "Lagunitas approves Waldorf school", Point Reyes Light, Mar 25, 2004
- "What were they thinking?", Chico News & Review, Dec 27, 2001
- "Amicus Curiae Brief of the Anthroposophical Society in America for the Defendants", PLANS, Inc., v Sacramento City Unified School District, Twin Ridges Elementary School District, July 13, 2004 Document #187
- Schooling the Imagination Sacramento News and Review, February 03, 2005
- Court witness statements record numbers #174-181. Also defendant expert witness reports; "FRCP, Rule 26 Report of Dr. Douglas Sloan, Professor Emeritus, Teachers College, Columbia University" filed Sep 27, 2004, and expert witness report of Robert Anderson, Administrator of the Standards and Assessment Office of the California Department of Education, dated Jan 23, 1999.
- "Deposition of Betty Staley", PLANS, Inc v Sacramento City Unified School District, Twin Ridges Elementary School District, d Apr 23 1999
- "Second Supplemental Answer to Special Interrogatories", PLANS, Inc v Sacramento City Unified School District, Twin Ridges Elementary School District, Apr 2004.
- Schooled in spirituality Article in Sacramento News and Reviews by Chrisanne Beckner, February 03, 2005
- Plaintiff's "Answer to Special Interrogatories", pages 3 and 4, (Jan 15, 2004)
- David Ruenzel, "The Spirit of Waldorf Education", Education Week Vol. 20, Iss. 41 (2001)
- Eugene Schwartz, "Waldorf Education in the Twenty-First Century". Common Ground March 2010, pp. 54-56