In May 2009, the student affairs advisor for the Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology Department at UCLA, e-mailed all graduating students to collect short personal statements from them, which she would read as they crossed the stage to receive their degrees at the June 13 department commencement ceremony. Christina Popa’s personal statement began with, “I want to thank Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior,” but the advisor claimed reading her words would violate the “separation of church and state.” ADF sent a letter to the University, and the school quickly reversed course and confirmed that Christina’s original statement would be read at the ceremony.
Institution: University of California, Los Angeles
Location: Whittier, CA
Topic: Speech Code, Establishment Clause