Major US university pays out $10k settlement to student removed from student senate for privately stating his Catholic beliefs
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FLORIDA, May 31, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – A major U.S. University has settled a lawsuit with one of its former Catholic students who was removed from his position as student union president because he spoke out against leftist groups such as Black Lives Matter.
According to a Daily Caller News Foundation report, Jack Denton will receive a total of $10,000 in damages along with $1,050 in retroactive pay from Florida State University (FSU), who a week ago settled its months long lawsuit with him.
In addition to paying out damages, FSU has been ordered to put a statement saying that the school will be committed to protecting every student “no matter their religion.”
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer, who represented Denton, said in the Daily Caller News Foundation report that “If you stand against cancel culture, you can win.”
“Cancel culture is scary and it’s very active, but Jack shows that if you stand, you can win,” said Langhofer.
Denton has since graduated from FSU, but his ordeal with the university began almost a year ago.
Denton said that FSU’s student senate voted him out as president in June of 2020 because he spoke along the lines of his “Catholic doctrine in a private group chat,” that it was not advisable to support leftist groups such as BlackLivesMatter.com, Reclaim the Block, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
“When one of my fellow members of the Catholic Student Union sent a message asking us to financially support causes that were contrary to our Catholic faith, I felt the need to point out the discrepancy,” Denton told LifeSiteNews last year.
“And without my permission, she took screenshots of what I said, and sent them to members of the Student Senate, who then removed me from my position as Student Senate president for simply stating well-known Catholic doctrines in a private group chat.”
In August of 2020, Denton and his legal counsel at the ADF filed a federal lawsuit against FSU school administrators Denton, so that he could get his job and reputation reinstated.
Denton’s lawyer Langhofer argued that his First Amendment rights were violated, saying in the Daily Caller report that the lawsuit “could have been avoided if the university had the courage to stand up and say this was not right.”
In October, U.S. District judge Justice Allen Winsor ruled that should Denton be reinstated as president, it would cause “tumult and chaos,” but agreed that his constitutional right to free speech had been violated.
As a result of Justice Winsor’s ruling, Denton’s lawyer Langhofer began to negotiate with the school to agree upon an adequate settlement.
Denton had the support of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee and its Bishop William Wack. “Bishop Wack expressed how proud he was of Mr. Denton and told him that he was praying for him,” Sharmane Adams, the director of communications for the Florida diocese told LifeSiteNews last year. “Bishop Wack also offered any kind of assistance that Mr. Denton needed.”