CASEBrooker v. The Governors of Missouri State University

Client Story
Emily Brooker

College was a rude awakening for Emily Brooker. Her freshman year, she received a class assignment to perform homosexual behavior in public, such as holding hands or kissing, and then write a paper about the experience. Emily didn’t do the assignment, but she wrote the paper as if she had. She received an “A”, but vowed never to compromise her faith again.

Three years later, as a senior, Emily again faced a difficult choice. One of her professors announced a class project of advocating foster and adoption rights for homosexuals, culminating with signing and sending a letter to the state legislature. Emily fulfilled all the requirements of the class, but drew the line on signing the letter.

She tried to explain to her professor that she couldn’t advocate for something that went against her faith, but the professor became irate. Emily planned to discuss the issue with him again with the social work department head, but before she had the chance, the department head called. Her professor had filed a grievance against her. The hearing would include not just the head and the professor, but seven faculty members. Emily wasn’t allowed to bring a lawyer or record the proceedings, and her parents had to wait outside the door for two and a half hours.

Alone, Emily faced the faculty as they interrogated her about her Christian faith. When she refused to back down, they insisted that she sign a contract vowing to “close the gap” between her faith and the social work program, or else not graduate.

Once she had her diploma in hand, with the help of Alliance Defending Freedom Emily took legal action against the school for violating her freedom of religion and expression. Ten days later, the president of the university publicly apologized to Emily, offered to pay for her to attend graduate school, and began an investigation of the social work department. The four tenured professors were moved to other departments, and four other faculty members were dismissed.


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Summary
MSU student Emily Brooker faced an “ethics” committee after school officials informed her that she stood accused of a Level 3 grievance for violation of the School of Social Work’s “Standards of Essential Functioning in Social Work Education.” The Level 3 grievance is the highest level of grievance that an individual can bring against a student. University officials told Brooker she had violated three of the “Standards of Essential Functioning”: Diversity, Interpersonal Skills, and Professional Behavior.
News Releases

Missouri State U. quickly settles lawsuit with student punished for opposing homosexual adoption

Religious Freedom

Missouri State U. quickly settles lawsuit with student punished for opposing homosexual adoption

ADF’s Center for Academic Freedom represents student, offending professor forced to resign from administrative duties, student’s infraction erased   

Nov 13, 2006 Read More

ADF sues university on behalf of Christian student punished for opposing homosexual adoption

Religious Freedom

ADF sues university on behalf of Christian student punished for opposing homosexual adoption

Missouri State University student majoring in social work was forced to testify before “ethics” committee to defend her beliefs

Oct 30, 2006 Read More
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Documents
https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/brooker-v.-the-governors-of-missouri-state-university/brooker-v-franks---complaint.pdf?sfvrsn=8cd0e438_4
Court Title Date
Trial Court
Complaint Sep 17 2006

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