Posts tagged with "EAD"

Child illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Child Friendly Faith Project

Child Advocacy Group Highlights Abuse in Religious Institutions for Child Abuse Prevention Month

With National Child Abuse Prevention Month underway, the Child-Friendly Faith Project (CFFP), a national nonprofit that educates the public about religiously enabled child maltreatment, is raising awareness of crimes against children perpetrated in religious institutions.

The CFFP is also drawing attention to a dangerous court decision that could prevent abusive institutions from being held accountable and offering a valuable resource to parents and guardians to help them determine whether they should enroll or continue to enroll their children in certain religious institutions.

The little-known ecclesiastical abstention doctrine (EAD) guides courts in deciding First Amendment, religious matters. While historically the EAD has been raised in cases relating to claims of wrongful termination, in recent years religious schools facing lawsuits involving allegations of child harm have pushed courts to interpret the EAD very broadly to get cases dismissed. In one recent case, the Episcopal School of Dallas was permitted to ignore its own legal contracts with parents and the emotional harm suffered by a child never came to light.

Given this alarming legal precedent, parents and guardians of children who have been harmed by private institutions could lose their right to seek relief in court, while the institutions might never be held accountable.

Parents who have children enrolled in private, faith-based schools (or are considering enrolling them) should be aware of the potential harm posed by the EAD. With this in mind, CFFP’s campaign is offering parents valuable tips on how to determine whether they should enroll (or continue to enroll) their children in private, faith-based schools:

  • Determine whether the institution your child is enrolled in (or might be enrolled in) could claim to be faith-based. Some private schools have stretched the meaning of “faith-based” as a way to be shielded by the EAD in court. Even if an institution seems to operate in a way that appears secular, as long as a facility, school, program, or daycare operation can claim that it has some sort of faith-based or spiritual component, it could convince a court that it should be protected by the EAD and cannot be sued for child abuse or neglect.
  • Read the school’s contract carefully. Many schools specify in their contracts how legal issues must be resolved. For example, some require parents to agree to mediation. It’s important to know what legal recourses you’re agreeing to. However, be aware that if a case goes to court, the EAD does have the potential to make contracts of religious school’s moot.
  • Ask to see a school’s child-abuse prevention policies & procedures. Those that take abuse seriously and proactively develop and enforce comprehensive abuse-prevention policies are usually open to making these policies available and may even post them on their websites.
  • Research whether the school has a history of abuse allegations. Conduct an online search using the name of the institution and words such as “lawsuit,” “sued,” and “abuse” to determine if it has been accused of abuse or of covering up cases in the past. Be extremely wary if you find a pattern of abuse allegations, even if you do not find information about final court decisions.
  • Explore the educational programs of secular private or public schools. Children can receive a high-quality education and experience at many different types of schools. Consider the offerings of private secular schools or public schools, which would be unable to raise the EAD in court.

Recent abuse cases

The CFFP has previously exposed issues of religious institutional child abuse and offered support to survivors and affected families. An example is its efforts to make public the decades-long, egregious abuses perpetrated at Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch. Recently, other cases have also made the news:

  • Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) — Last February, the SBC’s executive committee voted to expel two member churches for employing pastors who were convicted sex offenders. One pastor, who had been with his church since 2014, had pleaded guilty to two counts of statutory rape of a minor in the 1990s. The other pastor led his church since 2018, despite having been on Florida’s sex offender registry since 1993. In 2019, the SBC published a report on preventing and responding to cases of sexual abuse and later launched its “Caring Well Challenge” that calls on all SBC churches to adopt the report’s recommendations. Unfortunately, the program is voluntary.
  • Circle of Hope Girls Ranch — The owners and operators of this faith-based boarding school in Missouri face more than 100 criminal charges of sexual, physical and mental abuse of girls in their care. Their arrests came after their estranged daughter, Amanda Householder, posted social media videos of former residents talking about the abuse they endured. In an interview with a Missouri TV station, Householder said that victims had been speaking out since 2007. “Why did it take ten years for anyone to do anything?” she asked.

A dangerous court decision

While it’s heartening that these cases are receiving public attention, it is possible that they, and many more like them, could be dismissed thanks to a legal precedent set by a Texas appellate court in 2018. The case involved the Episcopal School of Dallas which invoked a common-law doctrine known as the “ecclesiastical abstention doctrine” (EAD). The EAD provides guidance to courts when weighing in on First-Amendment, religious matters. However, in the Dallas case, in which a father alleged that his son had been wrongfully expelled and in violation of school policy, it was applied very broadly and used to shield the school from being sued.

In another case involving Trinity Episcopal School in Galveston, Texas, a district court, in recognizing the EAD, threw out a lawsuit filed by a mother whose son had endured repeated racist bullying by other students. The mother wanted the school to hold the perpetrators accountable after the school had only demanded a written apology and suspended them for one day. Despite emotional trauma suffered by the victim, the judge agreed with the school’s claim that a court should not “intrude upon a religious institution’s management of its internal affairs and governance.”

“The EAD allows courts to prioritize a religious institution’s desire for secrecy and avoidance of accountability over the wellbeing of children,” said CFFP founder Janet Heimlich. “In cases in which organizations invoke the EAD, the public may never learn what abusive or neglectful actions took place, and parents may unwittingly enroll their children in those schools.”

To schedule an interview with a representative of the CFFP, an affected parent or a survivor of religious institutional child abuse, contact Jeff Salzgeber  through email or (512) 743-2659 cell.

The Child-Friendly Faith Project (CFFP) is a national, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks to end religious child maltreatment by raising awareness of this issue through educational programs that benefit the general public, survivors, professionals, and faith communities.

Jaguar’s New SUV

Ahead of its global auto show debut at the New York International Auto Show on Wednesday, March 28 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, Jaguar announced an extreme variant of its best-selling F-PACE performance SUV – the F-PACE SVR.

Watch the film here.

Already recognized as the 2017 World Car of the Year and World Car Design of the Year, as well as being the best-selling model in the Jaguar line-up since its launch two years ago, the F-PACE was a natural choice to receive SVR upgrades. The performance enhancements made to create the F-PACE SVR make it the fastest and most powerful F-PACE yet. Boasting an enhanced chassis, improved aerodynamics and 170 more horsepower than the current range-topping F-PACE S, the F-PACE SVR is built for maximum driver reward in various conditions.

Engineered by Special Vehicle Operations (SVO), the 5.0-liter supercharged V8 found in the F-PACE SVR produces 550hp and 502lb. ft. of torque; a 44% uplift in power, enabling it to reach 0-60mph in just 4.1 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.3 seconds) on its way to a top speed of 176mph (283km/h)1.

“The F-PACE SVR delivers the handling and agility to match its performance,” said Mike Cross, Chief Engineer of Vehicle Integrity at Jaguar Land Rover. “Everything from the steering to the bespoke suspension set-up has been tuned specifically for our performance SUV and the result is a vehicle that lives up to the promise of both the F-PACE and SVR names.”

Aerodynamic enhancements include larger air intakes at the front and side fender vents that lower pressure in the wheel arches, reducing lift and providing additional cooling while also assisting with high-speed stability2. In addition, unique wheel arch extensions and lower body moldings provide a low-slung muscularity that sets the SVR apart.

An exclusive SVR hood features vents to help extract hot air from the engine bay, providing visual evidence of the car’s dynamic intent.

At the rear, a unique spoiler is joined by a new bumper housing the Active Exhaust system’s quad tailpipes. The bumper incorporates side strakes designed to aid aerodynamic performance by smoothing airflow away from the rear of the vehicle.

The upgraded chassis features a set of progressive front and rear springs that are 30- and 10-percent stiffer respectively; incorporating an anti-roll system that contributes to a 5-percent overall reduction in body roll.

New, lightweight forged 21- and optional 22-inch alloy wheels are wider at the rear by almost 1-inch (25mm) compared to the front and contribute to the vehicle’s enhanced handling. The 22-inch wheels are 5.3lbs lighter on the front and 3.7lbs lighter on the rear and are designed to deliver greater airflow to the larger 15.5-inch (395mm) front and 15.6-inch (396mm) rear brake discs. The brake discs feature an advanced two piece construction on the front and rear, and when combined with the lighter wheels reduce unsprung mass, further contributing to the new car’s agile handling.

The F-PACE SVR also features an F-TYPE inspired Variable Valve Active Exhaust System; providing not only a charismatic soundtrack, but also increasing exhaust gas flow as another factor behind the SUV’s increased performance capability. The SVR exhaust is 14.5lbs lighter than the standard exhaust system in the F-PACE.

As the first F-PACE to utilize a rear Electronic Active Differential (EAD), the differential in the SVR works in conjunction with a comprehensive range of advanced technologies, each calibrated to deliver increased on-road performance and handling. The torque on-demand All-Wheel Drive system’s Intelligent Driveline Dynamics (IDD) control technology has been optimized to maximize the benefit of the EAD, while the software for the Adaptive Dynamics suspension, Electronic Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) and Dynamic Driving Mode are all unique to the F-PACE SVR. Engaging Dynamic mode initiates faster, more responsive gearshifts, sharper throttle responses and increased steering response for a more engaging driving experience in all conditions.2

Inside, the F-PACE SVR features slimline performance front seats that provide enhanced lateral support and have the signature Jaguar lozenge quilting and embossed SVR logo. In addition, unique rear seats echo the heavily sculpted designs of the seats up front, while the SUV’s sports car character is underlined by a SportShift Gear Selector like what is found in the F-TYPE sports car. Finally, the SVR branded steering wheel is enhanced with tactile aluminum paddle shifters.

For all its performance, the SVR retains the practicality and versatility inherent to the ‘PACE’ family of crossovers and SUVs; the 33.5cu. ft. of available loadspace (with rear seats up) is unaffected by the enhancements made to the SVR model. As with other F-PACE vehicles the SVR keeps passengers connected and entertained on the move with an available 4G Wi-Fi connection for up to eight devices; advanced Touch Pro infotainment system with 10-inch touchscreen standard; and a standard 12.3-inch Interactive Driver Display instrument cluster.4,5,6

Four interior color themes help to highlight the vehicle’s high performance personality; Red with Jet, Light Oyster with Jet, Siena Tan with Jet and Jet with Light Oyster stitching.

Drawing on extensive all-terrain expertise of both the Jaguar and Land Rover brands, the F-PACE SVR features a host of advanced technologies such as All-Wheel Drive with Intelligent Driveline Dynamics, All Surface Progress Control and Adaptive Surface Response to aid performance on a variety of surfaces and in a variety of weather conditions2.

 

The F-PACE SVR will be priced from $79,9903 when it arrives in retailer showrooms Summer of 2018, and comes standard with a best-in-class ownership package7, Jaguar EliteCare.

 

Customers can visit www.JaguarUSA.com for more information and to build their own F-PACE SVR.