A student is suing Delaware State University after she allegedly lost her athletic scholarship for refusing to attend church. The Christian Post reports Natalia Mendieta, a Catholic student, claims that she was forced to attend services at an Assembly of God church with the DSU volleyball team and coach LaKisya Killingsworth.
Delaware State is a public university.
Mendieta complied with Killingsworth’s rules during preseason, but later wrote a letter explaining to the coach that she did not wish to attend the church.
Mendieta’s relationship with Killingsworth “rapidly deteriorated” after writing the letter.
The student once missed curfew with other teammates during the fall semester. She was then informed that her scholarship for the 2015-2016 academic year would not be renewed.
Courthouse News reports Mendieta appealed the decision with proper university procedures but was denied, though she was maintain academic eligibility for the scholarship.
Sarah Jones of the Americans United for Separation of Church and State wrote, "There are a number of religious colleges in the country that would have permitted her to engage in these religious activities. DSU, however, is not among them."
Publication date: June 22, 2015