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Carole Mikita ReportingAn out of court -settlement today in a religious discrimination suit brought by a former University of Utah acting student against faculty members.
Christina Axson-Flynn filed suit in January of 2000, claiming she was forced to leave the acting program because she refused to use profanity in a classroom exercise. As a result of the settlement, she feels no other student will have to go through what she did.
Christina Axson-Flynn, Former University of Utah Acting Student: “No I would not have to use the name of my god in vain if I chose to return to the program, because of this settlement. And that is a great thing. That is the most important thing that has been accomplished, in my mind.”
At a joint news conference, attorneys for Axson-Flynn and the university announced that she has agreed to drop her lawsuit and the U. has agreed to develop a religious accommodation policy to make sure every student has a way to deal with perceived or actual discrimination.
Axson-Flynn has been readmitted to the acting program but declined.
David Dynak, Chairman of Theatre Dept. "Christy was urged to use the office of equal opportunity rather than file a lawsuit. She chose to begin the litigation. At this point, however, we're glad that this is over."
There is no admission of liability on the part of the University or the faculty. The University will reimburse Axson-Flynn for her tuition for 1998-99 and pay her attorneys' fees, which are in the $200,000 to $300,000 range.