Wednesday, December 12, 2018 -
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Public, or Christian, school in Florence, Colorado?

Cowboy Church sign in Florence, Colorado.A lawsuit filed by a Jewish teacher formerly employed at Florence High School against the district that administers the school appears headed to court.

The lawsuit filed in April in US District Court by teacher Robert Basevitz alleges a “pattern and practice of. . . endorsement and promotion of religion in a public school setting” — specifically evangelical Christian activity at the school located in Florence, Colo., some 10 miles from Cañon City.

Basevitz’ suit asks the federal court to rule that the religious activities, allegedly approved by the Fremont RE-2 School District, be declared unconstitutional, to issue an injunction ordering the activities ceased, and to approve compensatory or nominal damages for the plaintiff.

Most of the complaints detailed in the lawsuit involve the Rev. Randy Pfaff, pastor of the Cowboy Church at Crossroads in Florence, and his alleged leadership in religious activities at the school that violate the Establishment Clause of the US Constitution, forbidding state establishment of any religion.

For all practical purporses, Basevitz’ Boulder attorney Paul Maxon told the Intermountain Jewish News last week, the Cowboy Church is actually located on the grounds and in the building of Florence High School.

For the past several years, Maxon said, Florence High School has become “a public institution that’s being run as a Christian high school in many ways.”

The rest of this article is available in the July 3 IJN print and digital edition only. Contact Carol to order your copy at or subscribe to our online e-Edition.

Chris Leppek

IJN Assistant Editor |

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