Cupertino, Calif. teacher Stephen J. Williams, who filed a lawsuit challenging Stevens Creek Elementary School's decision to prohibit his supplemental teaching materials -- which related to the importance of Christian faith in American history and included excerpts from the Declaration of Independence -- admitted that his students had "read the Declaration, so that's a little bit of a stretch" to claim that "the Declaration was banned." Williams's comment came during the December 8 edition of FOX News' Hannity & Colmes, which was broadcast live from Cupertino. Nevertheless, Sean Hannity continued to falsely suggest that the school had banned the Declaration because it made reference to God.
Hannity's comments mark the eighth time that the Cupertino case has been falsely reported on FOX News primetime programs; there have also been numerous incorrect reports during FOX News daytime programming, as well as on FOX Broadcasting Network's FOX News Sunday. In fact, as Media Matters for America previously noted, the Declaration of Independence is featured in textbooks used throughout the Cupertino Union School District and is displayed in some buildings.
Here is a summary of what Hannity said on December 8 -- after Williams acknowledged that Stevens Creek Elementary School had not banned the Declaration of Independence:
HANNITY: [T]here seems to be a total and complete intolerance [on the part of liberals] to the foundation of this country and the principles that we hold dear. And the fact of the matter is America was founded by a very deeply religious people. ...The majority of Americans ... don't mind the real Declaration of Independence being used in schools.
HANNITY: [W]e have gotten to the point where we don't even allow our kids to read real historical documents. ... Can we read in Cupertino? Can we read in Cupertino, to give our kids the Declaration of Independence anymore?
HANNITY: It's [religion] divisive only if you try and say we can't use a founding document in front of our kids.