GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4)– A lawsuit has been filed against the President and the Board of Trustees of the Colorado School of Mines by a graduate after a dispute over a locker plaque.
At issue was an inscription the former football player wanted on the plaque.
Former student Mike Lucas attended the Colorado School of Mines from 1998-2002 and played football. He gave $2,500 during a solicitation for a new athletic facility and was told in return, he would receive a plaque on a locker with his football number, his name and whatever he wanted written on it.
But the Mines balked when he wanted reference to a Bible verse, citing separation of church and state as the reason for denying his request.
Lucas asked for the location of two Bible verses, Colossians 3:23 and Micah 5:9, not the actual verses, to be part of his inscription. Now he’s filed a lawsuit after the school told him that part would be left off.
Natalie Decker, an attorney for the Alliance Defending Freedom, is representing Lucas in his suit.
“The Colorado School of Mines seems to be more interested in silencing or censoring speech that they don’t agree with and specifically religious speech,” said Decker.
An email from the School of Mines states they have a policy against unlawful discrimination as a reason for turning down his request.
Another donor requested a plaque with the word “hell” on it. Lucas’ Bible passage he requested includes another word that the Mines apparently finds offensive.
“It’s a ridiculous position to take to assert that somehow a reference to a Bible verse is inappropriate just because someone might go and look up that particular verse and it contains the word Lord,” said Decker.
Lucas finally agreed to have the passage itself inscribed for one of his Bible verses, Micah 5:9 “Your hand will be lifted up in triumph over your enemies, and all your foes will be destroyed.”
The Colorado School of Mines told CBS4 they haven’t been served with the lawsuit yet so they haven’t had a chance to review it. They also said they don’t comment on pending litigation.