Judge: Teen Can Attend Catholic School Despite Dad's Protests

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A judge has ruled that a teen can attend a Louisville Catholic high school, despite objections by his atheist father.
Oldham County family court Judge Tim Feeley said in a ruling published Monday that 14-year-old Michael Ryan can attend St. Xavier High School because that's where he wants to go.
His divorced parents disagreed over whether their son should go to the religious school, which his mother Susan Bisig wanted.
Since Michael had attended a Catholic school since kindergarten, the transition to St. Xavier would be easier, she said.
His father, David Ryan, argued in a lawsuit that the state's
Constitution says no one can be "compelled to send his child to any school to which he may be conscientiously opposed."
But The Courier-Journal of Louisville reported on its Web site that the judge was persuaded that it was in the teenager's best interest to attend St. Xavier.
"The court cannot compel David Ryan to send his child to a religious school" and "likewise this court cannot prohibit Susan Bisig from sending her child to a religious school," Feeley wrote in an eight-page ruling. "The clear best interest of this child is supported by the mother's position."
Feeley also amended the parents' joint custody agreement to give
Bisig "sole custody of Michael as it relates to educational decision-making."
David Ryan's attorney Edwin Kagin questioned the court's decision to give a parent sole custody on a single issue.
"Should the father have sole custody to decide what the child has for breakfast?" he asked. "You just don't dice it up that way."
Other schools Michael Ryan considered attending were Louisville
Kentucky Country Day, South Oldham High School, Louisville DuPont
Manual High School and Louisville Trinity High School.
David Ryan will probably appeal the ruling, Kagin said.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Fred Location: Lexington on Apr 19, 2008 at 09:04 AM
    "Atheists are the most hated and despised group of americans" - Are you freaking kidding me? Check yourself kiddo, it's the Christians that catch all of the crap from you idiots.
  • by Me! Location: Ky on Apr 15, 2008 at 07:30 AM
    Praise God the atheist father didn't win! At least the boy can decide for himself what he wants to believe.Someday the dad will cry out to God, whether it be fatal illness, or wrecks, you know things happen all the time. The first words out of peoples mouth is " God help. or Dear God what are we going to do? or Please God help them or me." It is a shame that people wait to call upon him unless they are in a position of helplessness.But he will hear each and everyone of their crys.
  • by Sherry Location: Morehead on Apr 15, 2008 at 06:37 AM
    What do atheists believe in? That is the one thing I can't figure out.
  • by Sherry Location: Morehead on Apr 15, 2008 at 05:22 AM
    The dad just needs to let the matter go. He has the right to appeal but to do so is ultimately an attempt to push his atheist beliefs on his child.
  • by c Location: fkt on Apr 15, 2008 at 04:43 AM
    Finally, a judge with some sense! He thought of what was best for the child & not what was best for dad! I also agree with him giving sole custody of educational matters to the mother, she apparently is thinking of what is best for her child, not the dad! Congradulations to Micheal!
  • by Fred Location: Lexington on Apr 14, 2008 at 06:37 PM
    And let the whining begin....
  • by jason Location: Dover on Apr 14, 2008 at 06:14 PM
    Well i agree that the boy should go to the school he chooses religious or not it is his choice. But the judge giving the mother sole custody on education is wrong. It sounds like a slap in the face of the father that may not have happened had he not been atheist. Atheists are the most hated and despised group of americans...gotta love the christians who love everyone yet still ridicule atheists without knowing them. Its freedom of religion as well as freedom from religion in this country. Christians only like freedom of religion when its their religion..... I am an atheist and i feel the courts ruling on this was beyond what should have been ruled upon and i believe it was because the father was atheist.
  • by Darlene Location: KY on Apr 14, 2008 at 05:58 PM
    Gosh, The "child" is 14 years old. Let him decide where he wants to go and who he wants to be around. Mom and dad, you should totally be ashamed of yourselves and get along for his sake. Get a life and leave your son's life alone. Grow up!
  • by Steve Location: Lexington on Apr 14, 2008 at 05:24 PM
    Good! The judge ruled by what the boy wanted to do. He has been raised in parochial school all his life, and to put him in public school now would most likely lead to his grades plummeting due to the physical and verbal abuse he would take at a public school. I'm glad the judge had the good sense to see that where the boy wanted to go was more important than daddy not liking God.
  • by Joey Location: Lex on Apr 14, 2008 at 04:33 PM
    Edwin Kagen is his attorney? LOL! He's the head of the atheist party in KY. He's been on the Sue Wylie show many times and is the rudest most arrogant person I have ever heard. That's really funny that the father's attorney is an atheist as well. I'm glad the judge had common sense in this case.

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