Lorain County Teacher Sues for His Union Dues to Be Diverted to Charity
by Jim Brown
AgapePress) - A public school teacher has sued an affiliate of the Ohio Education Association for refusing to honor his religious objections.
Daniel Reed is a history teacher in Lorain County, Ohio, and a member of Camden Baptist Church. When he found out the Lorain County Joint Vocational School Teachers Association was using his union dues to support a pro-homosexual, pro-abortion agenda, Reed contacted the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.
Dan Cronin, the Foundation's director of legal information, describes what happened next.
"We advised him to file to be a religious objector and have his dues money deferred to charity," Cronin says. "He did that, and the union basically responded by saying [it would] divert some of [his] money, but not all of it. Since then they've been forcing him to still pay the union fees, they kept about $475 worth of dues that they haven't diverted to charity."
Cronin says his group deals frequently with discrimination cases like this, and that's not necessarily a bad thing, he says.
"I think with all these cases, it's actually a pretty good sign, because more and more people [of faith], not just in teaching, are starting to learn what their rights are [and] what they can do to stand up for themselves," he says.
"They're not afraid to take on these unions, which in many cases can be very powerful and very intimidating," Cronin continues. "It's like when you light a candle in the darkness - before you know it, everybody is lighting a candle and it's no longer dark anymore."
National Right to Work has filed a religious discrimination lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Cleveland, seeking to have Reed's union dues diverted to charity. Reed is also asking that his union be required to notify all its employees of their right to file a religious objection to joining or supporting the union.