In a clear and concise violation of our constitution—although it may not be fully understood by the first grader—a student’s First Amendment rights were violated. During a speech a student was giving around Christmas time, the teacher cut her off, made her sit down and dictated that she was, “not allowed to talk about the Bible in school.”
Now the law is quite clear here and that is, teachers—or those who serve in a teaching capacity—are not allowed to share their religion, regardless of what it is, with students. In a certain sense this is understandable as younger minds are open to suggestion, and the teachers beliefs may not align with the beliefs of the student’s parents.
(See also: Soldiers Banned From Saying “Christmas”)
Now when it comes to students, they have the good ol’ Constitution at their back defending anything they say.
The teacher had sent students home with a “share” bag asking that students bring something in that reflects their family’s individual holiday tradition. One could only wonder how she didn’t see something like this happening.
Little Brynn Williams—the first grader—brought in her Christmas star tree topper and explained that her family called it their Star of Bethlehem. She went on to explain that her family likes to make sure they keep Jesus in the center of Christmas and went on to share this in her one minute time slot allotted by the teacher.
Her teacher abruptly stopped her mid-speech and told her to sit down. As William’s speech was set to end with the Bible verse John 3:16, the teacher informed her that she was, “not allowed to talk about the Bible in school,”—a misinformed comment.
Needless to say, Advocates For Faith & Freedom—the same group that took up 6-year-old Isaiah Martinez’s case after his teacher ripped his Christmas message from his candy cane gifts he was giving to his fellow classmates—have taken up her case.
They recently sent a letter to the Temecula Valley Unified School District demanding faculty and staff stop, “expressing disapproval or hostility toward religion or toward religious viewpoints expressed by students.” They furthermore ordered the school district to offer a written apology to the student and her family as well as allow the girl to finish her speech.
General Counsel for Advocates for Faith & Freedom, Robert Tyler conveyed, “The disapproval and hostility that Christian students have come to experience in our nation’s public schools has become epidemic.”
Having to appear as neutral as possible, the school district offered their own statement saying, “The disapproval and hostility that Christian students have come to experience in our nation’s public schools has become epidemic.”
Hoping that the heat dies down from the incident, they add that, “Due to the fact that District officials are currently investigating the allegations, it would be inappropriate to provide further comment at this time.”
What do you guys think—is the war on Christianity becoming an epidemic or is this just hypersensitivity? Let us know in a comment below!