Reaction and Dismissal
Many IIS students were not in support of the lawsuit. The Box Elder News Journal was filled with editorials by students and citizens angry over the charges. Students circulated a petition opposing the lawsuit, and upwards of 90% of the student body signed.
“The students have learned more about how to think for themselves and found that it is necessary for them to become involved. It's excellent preparation for the world as we live in it.”
-Principal Lawrence Capps on his favorable view of the lawsuit.
“At Intermountain School we are encouraged to take pride in our cultural heritage. We have courses in Navajo history, Navajo mythology, Indian history, and contemporary American Indian problems. We feel that we can offer the best of our culture and can also gain from our association with people of other cultures . . . We are qualified to state that the charges made by Lehman Brightman are not true.”
-Frank Lew, President; Paul Begay, Vice President; Elizabeth Francis, Secretary, Student Council
Judge Aldon J. Anderson of the U.S. District Court of Utah dismissed the lawsuit on the grounds that individuals do not have standing to sue on behalf of the Navajo Nation, and that the students had not exhausted available administrative remedies. (The students had not previously brought their concerns to the school administration or the BIA.)