Video: Student told not to write about God as her idol

posted at 12:41 pm on September 12, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Lord forgive them, for the leadership at Memphis’ Lucy Elementary clearly knows not what it does. A 10-year-old girl wrote what her mother describes as a “cute” presentation for a class assignment to discuss who she sees as her idol. When she chose the Lord Almighty, her teacher demanded a more appropriate idol, like, er … Michael Jackson?

She said her daughter was told to start over and pick another idol.

“But my teacher said I couldn’t write about God. She said It has something to do with God and God can’t be my idol,” said Shead about what her daughter told her.

Erin told her mother she was also not allowed to leave the assignment about God at school, that it must go home.

On the second try, Erin chose Michael Jackson, which was acceptable.

While this isn’t explicitly a zero-tolerance case, it amply demonstrates the ludicrous thinking behind it.  Public schools are not allowed to promote religion, or teach it except in a comparitive/academic sense, which is a restriction on teachers and administrators, not students. Students have their First Amendment rights to pray, discuss, and occasionally write about their religious beliefs, especially in a class assignment that uses religious terminology and practically begs for a faith-based response.  Or did the teacher not know the definition of “idol” before giving the assignment to the class?

And then when Erin chose God, the teacher could have just shrugged it off as a cute choice, even if it made her uncomfortable.  Instead, she turned it into an issue — and then signed off on a choice of an entertainer whose relationship with young children was suspicious enough to provoke prosecution, albeit that which ended in acquittals.

It’s hysterics like these that make ever-stronger cases for school choice or homeschooling.  The mother sounds well-equipped to handle the latter, too, as she demonstrates in the interview.


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And it is because this teacher believes in an unconstitutional, forced separation of church and state, that the teacher told the student that they could not make God the focus of their assigment.

ITguy on September 12, 2013 at 1:25 PM

But, somehow thought that promoting idolatry was okay.

besser tot als rot on September 12, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Exactly.

The 10-year-old had her priorities right, while the teacher had her priorities wrong, and forced the student to change her priorities and promote idolatry instead of promoting God.

That seems awfully close to the establishment of idolotry by the teacher.

And it violated the student’s right, endowed by her Creator and supposedly protected by the 1st Amendment, to the free exercise of religion.

Again:

Do not turn to idols, nor make for yourselves molded gods: I am the Lord your God.

Leviticus 19:4 New King James Version (NKJV)

ITguy on September 12, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Instead, she turned it into an issue

No, a hysterical parent and the media did that.

“How can you tell this baby, that’s a Christian, what she can say and what she can’t say?”

Becasue she is in a public school. Take you kid to school elsewhere if you can’t handle that. You know public school policy and how they are about religion.

Moesart on September 12, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Becasue she is in a public school. Take you kid to school elsewhere if you can’t handle that. You know public school policy and how they are about religion.

Moesart on September 12, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Really…

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

I don’t see the part that says, “Except when free exercise thereof occurs within a public building”. Could you point it out to us?

NotCoach on September 12, 2013 at 2:40 PM

If it had been allah, the teacher would have said nothing. If she had, she would have been fired and arrested by federal officers before lunch period.
Just say’n.

onomo on September 12, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Moesart on September 12, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Excuse me. back in March, Mississippi House Bill 638 was signed into law.

What this bill does is to allow students to initiate prayers in school and at student activities, to reference their religious beliefs in their schoolwork, both their assignments completed at school and their homework, as well. The bill also allows Mississippi’s students to speak to their classmates about their faith, to “give their witness” as we believers refer to our own personal testimony as to what God has done in our lives.

Now, please…continue….

kingsjester on September 12, 2013 at 2:43 PM

you are wrong, everson v. board of education incorporated the 1st amendment religious clause. and an employee of the govt CANNOT endorse a religion during the course of their job. for example, a teacher cannot tell a student they have to pray at a certain time. but a teacher can tell another teacher/faculty member they are a christian and would like to invite them to join them in prayer. see the difference?

chasdal on September 12, 2013 at 1:54 PM

The 1st Amendment does not include the words “endorse” or “endorsement”. Any reference to those words must have been found not in the Constitution itself but rather in “eminations” from a “penumbra”.

Your example of a teacher telling a student they have to pray at a certain time would not be a constitutional “endorsement” of religion, but rather an unconstitional “establishment” of religion. The teacher in that example would be trying to use their state-given authority over the student to try to force a religion upon the student against their will.

The teacher has rights to the free exercise of his or her own religion. The state can’t take that away.

At the same time, the student has rights to the free exercise of his or her own religion, and the teacher can’t take that away.

This student was completely within her rights to make God the focus of her assignment.

And the teacher violated the student’s 1st Amendment rights when the teacher told the student she could not make God the focus of her assignment.

ITguy on September 12, 2013 at 2:46 PM

Public schools are not allowed to promote religion, or teach it except in a comparitive/academic sense, which is a restriction on teachers and administrators, not students. Students have their First Amendment rights to pray, discuss, and occasionally write about their religious beliefs, especially in a class assignment that uses religious terminology and practically begs for a faith-based response.

That’s really the crux. This wasn’t a public school with a nativity scene in the lobby; this was a student exercising her First Amendment right and expressing her faith in God. Had she started by drawing a picture of Michael Jackson (or Ellen Degeneres), that would have been perfectly fine, too — but she didn’t.

Remember the libtard outrage when that school forbade a black girl for her dreadlocks?

sentinelrules on September 12, 2013 at 12:59 PM

She school forbidding the dreads was just as stupid, and just as wrong.

bmmg39 on September 12, 2013 at 2:47 PM

kingsjester on September 12, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Congress holding church services in the Capitol, way back when all the Founders were still alive, was probably unconstitutional in the eyes of Moe as well.

NotCoach on September 12, 2013 at 2:48 PM

I am not a friend of the religious right, but you have to admit that they have a real point. It makes much more sense to encourage a girl to express her awe of God than a pedophile musician. And this is hardly isolated, God isn’t really allowed in school. And even more perversely if girl had wanted to write about Allah being her idol, the Left would not have had the least objection, though there is no rational defense of not allowing God, but allowing Allah.

thuja on September 12, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Ok, fess up. Who hacked thuja’s account?

makattak on September 12, 2013 at 2:51 PM

NotCoach on September 12, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Shhh! Don’t tell him that Jefferson approved it and attended services, or he’ll have a fainting spell.

kingsjester on September 12, 2013 at 2:52 PM

So a Drug addicted pedophile was acceptable over God????????????

GOD HELP THIS NATION.

ToddPA on September 12, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Will they exempt Congress/Reid: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/sep/12/feds-launch-predator-app-itunes-catch-child-sex-cr/

davidk on September 12, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Here is the schools making a buck off of selling kids private information … but their excuse for not commenting in the above story is privacy. Yeah… sure, they really care.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/09/10/Parents-Refused-Right-To-Opt-Out-Of-Children-s-Private-Data-Sharing

Axion on September 12, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Becasue she is in a public school. Take you kid to school elsewhere if you can’t handle that. You know public school policy and how they are about religion.

Moesart on September 12, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Interesting – in your miserable little world public school students don’t have Constitutional rights. In reality they do, but because public schools are filled with idiot teachers and administrators, kids are a lot better off in private schools or being home schooled.

Shay on September 12, 2013 at 2:57 PM

NotCoach on September 12, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Exactly.

Government attempts to prevent the free exercise of religion in the public sector are themselves an unconstitutional violation of those citizens’ right (protected by the 1st Amendment) to the free exercise of religion.

So it’s not the student who was violating the 1st amendment by making a school assignment about God.

It was the teacher (who wrongly thought that the student’s project was a violation of the 1st Amendment) who violated the 1st amendmnet when she told the student that she couldn’t make her assignment about God.

The only limits on the free exercise of religion that I will accept is that your right to the free exercise of your religion stops at the point where you try to take away my Creator-endowed rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

For example, a Muslim’s right to the free exercise of religion stops when they choose to become a Jihadi and try to take away the lives of others.

ITguy on September 12, 2013 at 2:58 PM

Public schools are not allowed to promote religion, or teach it except in a comparitive/academic sense…

I’m the first person to separate Church and State. But this is ridiculous. The school gave the assignment with no apparent guidelines as to what criteria a child’s “idol” could be. Her choosing God should have been acceptable. It’s that child’s choice…it wasn’t forced upon her, nor was this school pushing religious faith.

This is the kind of thing we as Americans need to get angry about.

JetBoy on September 12, 2013 at 3:00 PM

We need Dante back for this one.

Or did he burst into flames long ago??

ToddPA on September 12, 2013 at 3:02 PM

You know public school policy and how they are about religion.

Moesart on September 12, 2013 at 2:35 PM

And you obviously don’t know the rights given by our Creator and protected by the Constitution.

davidk on September 12, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Headline should be:

One teacher in a school somewhere makes stupid mistake –
story about to go viral on con blogs – ‘outrage’ to follow.

verbaluce on September 12, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Tell us about it.

http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2013/09/12/2609951/ted-cruz-keeping-jesse-helms-legacy-alive/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/11/ted-cruz-jesse-helms_n_3909610.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2013/09/12/ted-cruz-knows-nothing-about-jesse-helms/

HumpBot Salvation on September 12, 2013 at 3:05 PM

you are wrong, everson v. boardofeducation incorporated the 1st amendment religiousclause. and an employee of the govt CANNOT endorse a religion during the course of their job. for example, a teacher cannot tell a student they have to pray at a certain time. but a teacher can tell another teacher/faculty member they are a christian and would like to invite them to join them in prayer. see the difference?

chasdal on September 12, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Guessing you though Plessey v. Ferguson was correct and should’ve always been enforced as constitutional, right?

njrob on September 12, 2013 at 3:06 PM

Headline should be:

One teacher in a school somewhere makes stupid mistake –
story about to go viral on con blogs – ‘outrage’ to follow.

verbaluce on September 12, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Tell us more

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/09/12/the-crazy-ted-cruz-jesse-helms-connection.html

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/09/ted-cruz-we-need-100-more-jesse-helms

http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/scarce/praise-jesse-helms-ted-cruz

HumpBot Salvation on September 12, 2013 at 3:07 PM

a teacher should just keep their mouth shut on the subject of religion unless they are teaching a theology class.

chasdal on September 12, 2013 at 2:05 PM

So you believe that the teacher loses their free speech rights because of their occupation?

Every U.S. citizen is entitiled to free speech.

A teacher has every right to speak of, and endorse, their own religion.

That is not to say that they should make it the focus of their class if the topic of the class is something other than religion, but if something is discussed in a class and a spiritual perspective can add something to that discussion, the teacher is not under any obligation to “keep their mouth shut”. You are trying to take away the teacher’s right to free speech.

ITguy on September 12, 2013 at 3:09 PM

Headline should be:

One teacher in a school somewhere makes stupid mistake –
story about to go viral on con blogs – ‘outrage’ to follow.

verbaluce on September 12, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Outrageous outrage.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/09/11/ted-cruz-gushes-we-need-100-more-like-jesse-helms-in-the-senate/

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/09/12/1238346/-Ted-Cruz-Jesse-Helms-Heritage?detail=hide#

http://www.mediaite.com/online/sen-ted-cruz-we-need-a-hundred-more-like-jesse-helms-in-senate/

HumpBot Salvation on September 12, 2013 at 3:09 PM

Don’t you just love our educational system?

GarandFan on September 12, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Moesart on September 12, 2013 at 2:35 PM

um, Thomas Jefferson ATTENDED church services that were held in the Rotunda of the US CAPITAL BUILDING.

Want to try to argue HE didn’t understand his OWN writings?

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/rel06-2.html

PJ Emeritus on September 12, 2013 at 3:42 PM

Headline should be:

One teacher in a school somewhere makes stupid mistake –
story about to go viral on con blogs – ‘outrage’ to follow.

verbaluce on September 12, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Headline should be: Teacher Violate Student’s Civil Rights By Denying Her First Amendment Rights – outrage should follow

davidk on September 12, 2013 at 3:44 PM

Becasue she is in a public school. Take you kid to school elsewhere if you can’t handle that. You know public school policy and how they are about religion.

Moesart on September 12, 2013 at 2:35 PM

I guess you missed that pesky “Nor Limiting the Free Exercise thereof” part of the 1st Amendment too.

jaydee_007 on September 12, 2013 at 3:45 PM

you are wrong, everson v. boardofeducation incorporated the 1st amendment religiousclause. and an employee of the govt CANNOT endorse a religion during the course of their job. for example, a teacher cannot tell a student they have to pray at a certain time. but a teacher can tell another teacher/faculty member they are a christian and would like to invite them to join them in prayer. see the difference?

chasdal on September 12, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Guessing you though Plessey v. Ferguson was correct and should’ve always been enforced as constitutional, right?

njrob on September 12, 2013 at 3:06 PM

I’m guessing chase all has ran away & hid

Conservative4Ever on September 12, 2013 at 3:49 PM

Bah correct is: chasdal not chase

Conservative4Ever on September 12, 2013 at 3:51 PM

Headline should be:

One teacher in a school somewhere makes stupid mistake –
story about to go viral on con blogs – ‘outrage’ to follow.

verbaluce on September 12, 2013 at 12:55 PM

.
HURRY … READ ALL ABOUT IT ! . . . . . . . . .

Commenter at Hotair.com plays down the violation of a student’s First Amendment rights

listens2glenn on September 12, 2013 at 3:54 PM

Speaking of the 1st Amendment: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2013/09/12/Senate-panel-Oks-measure-defining-a-journalist

Next step,denying bloggers’ rights to protect their sources and outright censorship.

davidk on September 12, 2013 at 3:55 PM

It’s hysterics like these that make ever-stronger cases for school choice or homeschooling.

Indeed.
My daughter sang openly Christian songs in every school talent show.
She was in a charter school.

itsnotaboutme on September 12, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Hmm, the same Michael Jackson who was a drug user, child abuser, gave out hush money like candy, deformed the body he was born with, and who died from drugs? That Michael Jackson?

stop2think on September 12, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Headline should be:

One teacher in a school somewhere makes stupid mistake –
story about to go viral on con blogs – ‘outrage’ to follow.

verbaluce on September 12, 2013 at 12:55 PM

One HotAir Commenter Ignores Trend, Thinks This Is Isolated Incident

itsnotaboutme on September 12, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Hmm, the same Michael Jackson who was a drug user, child abuser, gave out hush money like candy, deformed the body he was born with, and who died from drugs? That Michael Jackson?

stop2think on September 12, 2013 at 4:02 PM

You forgot “publicly grabbed his crotch hundreds of times.”

itsnotaboutme on September 12, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Moesart on September 12, 2013 at 2:35 PM

um, Thomas Jefferson ATTENDED church services that were held in the Rotunda of the US CAPITAL BUILDING.

Want to try to argue HE didn’t understand his OWN writings?

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/rel06-2.html

PJ Emeritus on September 12, 2013 at 3:42 PM

Very minor correction: the services were held in the House of Representatives, not in the Rotunda.

But that correction doesn’t in any way diminish what you are saying.

Thomas Jefferson himself attended church services held inside the U.S. Capitol building.

Far from claiming that such services were an unconstitutional establishment of religion, he personally participated, as President of the United States, in this endorsement of Christianity in the building that housed both the Legislative and Judicial branches of our government.

Yet there are many who would have you believe that those services in which Jefferson participated were somehow a violation of the “wall of separation between church and state” described in Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists. They would have you believe, I guess, that Thomas Jefferson was schizophrenic.

Far from it. Jefferson understood that the purpose of the 1st amendment was to keep the government from restricting the free exercise of religion in all of its forms:

speech,
press,
peaceable assembly, and
petition the Government for a redress of grievances

The wall would keep the government out of the church,
not keep religious freedoms out of the government!

ITguy on September 12, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Lets see … the one and only living GOD, or a dead, drug-addicted pedophile? Choices, choices …

Unbelievable.

Pork-Chop on September 12, 2013 at 4:21 PM

I can’t decide which is more frightening: (1) that the teacher thinks Michael Jackson is a better choice than God for a kid to admire or (2) that someone this ignorant about the Constitution is a teacher.

Either way, I wouldn’t want a child of mine anywhere near this person.

CJ on September 12, 2013 at 4:21 PM

There are those more learned than I am on this topic, but it seems that by telling the girl she could could not write about God as her idol, the teacher – in fact – volated the child’s civil rights by infringing on her religious liberty. And since Memphis public schools receive federal assistance, there really is a Constitutional case here.

Thoughts?

EdmundBurke247 on September 12, 2013 at 4:34 PM

It’s hysterics like these that make ever-stronger cases for school choice or homeschooling.

No, it is disturbing hysterics like these that make a stronger case to rid the school systems of these left-wing, “progressive” goons!

the teacher – in fact – violated the child’s civil rights by infringing on her religious liberty. And since Memphis public schools receive federal assistance, there really is a Constitutional case here.

EdmundBurke247 on September 12, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Exactly! The only way these rabidly cretinous school systems will learn is when enough of their “teachers”(or administrators) get sued. And I am not one who believes in suing for every little infraction like a lot of liberals I (don’t want to) know, but this kind of crap has got to stop! And if it takes hitting them in the pocket-book, so be it.

Sterling Holobyte on September 12, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Where’s a fatwa when you need one?

unclesmrgol on September 12, 2013 at 5:48 PM

Libfree thinks MJ is a hero.

CW on September 12, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Becasue she is in a public school. Take you kid to school elsewhere if you can’t handle that. You know public school policy and how they are about religion.

Moesart on September 12, 2013 at 2:35 PM

I hope you’re trolling, because that’s some grade-A ignorance right there.

Never mind what’s wrong with the attitude toward freedom of religion, government, and child-rearing; “how they are” toward it is irrelevant. The public schools don’t get to make public policy. We tell them what to do, not vice versa. We’re talking about a country where a convicted murderer can turn a prison system on its head by protesting a religious objection to daily routine or diet, after all.

The reputation public schools get for being anti-religion – and the power to take actions that makes that reputation partially justified – comes from the clause in the Constitution protecting the right to exercise religion.

The Supreme Court has ruled on this many times. You should educate yourself on exactly what students’ rights are. They’re broader than you think – you know, almost as if the students were citizens of a constitutional republic or something. “Separation of Church and State” does not mean “Atheism is the State Religion.”

HitNRun on September 12, 2013 at 6:18 PM

Panther on September 12, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Considering that is a Southeastern North Carolina area code,I doubt that number is correct for a school in Memphis

PJ Emeritus on September 12, 2013 at 6:50 PM

“I am The Lord thy God. Thou shalt have no false idols before Me.”

I still remember these exact words from Catechism class in first grade when I was 5 years old. 51 kids in the class, one Nun, perfect order at all times ( with some notable exceptions).

Naturally Curly on September 12, 2013 at 7:01 PM

“I am The Lord thy God. Thou shalt have no false idols before Me.”

I still remember these exact words from Catechism class in first grade when I was 5 years old. 51 kids in the class, one Nun, perfect order at all times ( with some notable exceptions).

Naturally Curly on September 12, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Me too, but that was back when they could rap you on the knuckles with a pointer if you got out of line.

Schools started going downhill when physical punishment was outlawed.

slickwillie2001 on September 12, 2013 at 7:03 PM

“They [the school] couldn’t talk about the case because they wanted to respect the student’s privacy.”

F*ck you, you lying cowards. You already proved you don’t care about the student, and the mother has already talked to a nationwide news network about the case.

Is there a more despicable, craven profession in America today than a “school administrator.”

rrpjr on September 12, 2013 at 7:53 PM

“I am The Lord thy God. Thou shalt have no false idols before Me.”

I still remember these exact words from Catechism class in first grade when I was 5 years old. 51 kids in the class, one Nun, perfect order at all times ( with some notable exceptions).

Naturally Curly on September 12, 2013 at 7:01 PM

.
Me too, but that was back when they could rap you on the knuckles with a pointer if you got out of line.

Schools started going downhill when physical punishment was outlawed.

slickwillie2001 on September 12, 2013 at 7:03 PM

.
I’m not opposed to corporal punishment, but the absence of the ‘recognition of God’ is the biggest reason everything started going downhill.

listens2glenn on September 12, 2013 at 9:04 PM

This is just like Daniel in the Lion’s Den. When we learned that in Sunday School, we all thought it would never happen to us.

The teacher is asking a Christian student to make up an idol, which is strictly forbidden in the 10 commandments.

Yikes. Sounds like some sensitivity training is in order.

LibertyJane on September 12, 2013 at 11:41 PM

I live in Memphrica and let me just say I apologize for the idiocy of this city. We, like the rest of the nation, are stupid PC lemmings following this civilization off the PC cliff.

j.

JohnnyMojo on September 12, 2013 at 11:47 PM

If the point of the assignment was to practice biographical writing, then the child picked an entirely inappropriate subject.

eh on September 12, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Why?

kingsjester on September 12, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Because Jehova is no more a biographical personage than Odin or Zeus or Shiva.

She could’ve gotten away with a biography of Muhammed or Joseph Smith, though, if she wanted to use the assignment to talk about religious figures.

eh on September 13, 2013 at 1:00 AM

She could’ve gotten away with a biography of Muhammed or Joseph Smith, though, if she wanted to use the assignment to talk about religious figures.

eh on September 13, 2013 at 1:00 AM

How about a paper on Jesus?

malclave on September 13, 2013 at 1:24 AM

I think we’re having the same conversation over at the linked source for this post. If it’s not you I was replying to, I answered to a similar question,…

The historiography on Jesus is pretty much limited to establishing that there could have been an insurgent Rabbi from Galillee named Jesus who was brought to the Roman satraps to be executed for heresy. A well-footnoted paper on historians’ work over the years on the historiography of Jesus would probably knock the teacher’s socks off and get the kid promoted to AP classes, though.

eh on September 13, 2013 at 1:35 AM

I’ll add that there’s nothing in the news report that indicates that this wasn’t a case of a teacher who is personally hostile to religion acting out in an unprofessional manner.

However, I believe that the nature of the public school as a secular space is well enough worn territory for education professionals that the Hostile Atheist Teacher explanation is less plausible than many here might think.

eh on September 13, 2013 at 1:42 AM

I’ll add that there’s nothing in the news report that indicates that this wasn’t a case of a teacher who is personally hostile to religion acting out in an unprofessional manner.

However, I believe that the nature of the public school as a secular space is well enough worn territory for education professionals that the Hostile Atheist Teacher explanation is less plausible than many here might think.

eh on September 13, 2013 at 1:42 AM

It doesn’t really matter if the teacher was personally hostile to religion or not. What matters is what the teacher did. The teacher told the student that she could not write her paper about God.

Whether the teacher is a hostile atheist or a fundamentalist Christian who wrongly believes the false mantra of “separation of church and state”, the outcome is the same… that 10-year-old girl’s rights were violated.

The interpretation of the 1st Amendment has been turned completely upside down.

The 1st Amendment was passed to prevent this very thing… the state telling an individual that they were not free to express their religious beliefs.

Now, the 1st Amendment is wrongly used to take away the very rights it was intended to protect.

ITguy on September 13, 2013 at 8:46 AM

the absence of the ‘recognition of God’ is the biggest reason everything started going downhill.

listens2glenn on September 12, 2013 at 9:04 PM

Indeed.

Look how much this country has changed (in many ways for the worse) in the last 63 years since a Democrat President said this (emphasis mine):

The most important business in this Nation–or any other nation, for that matter-is raising and training children. If those children have the proper environment at home, and educationally, very, very few of them ever turn out wrong. I don’t think we put enough stress on the necessity of implanting in the child’s mind the moral code under which we live.

The fundamental basis of this Nation’s law was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings which we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul. I don’t think we emphasize that enough these days.

If we don’t have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.

- President Harry S. Truman
February 15, 1950

President Truman was right.

When we removed the “proper fundamental moral background” from schools, we started down the path towards “a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state”.

ITguy on September 13, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Headline should be:

One teacher in a school somewhere makes stupid mistake –
story about to go viral on con blogs – ‘outrage’ to follow.

verbaluce on September 12, 2013 at 12:55 PM

So, a child being denied free expression in an academic environment is not outrageous.

Huh.

Education.

Yeah.

98ZJUSMC on September 13, 2013 at 2:30 PM

I’ll add that there’s nothing in the news report that indicates that this wasn’t a case of a teacher who is personally hostile to religion acting out in an unprofessional manner.

eh on September 13, 2013 at 1:42 AM

Really. What was in this story that indicated this teacher wasn’t personally hostile to religion? I’m reading exactly the same story that you are, and yet the only conclusion that makes any sense to any reasonable person reading it is that this teacher was openly hostile to religion. And that’s fine, the teacher is free to hate religion.

But when the teacher tells a student that God is not an acceptable choice for an essay about ones idol, that’s simply nothing BUT unprofessional. The teacher does not have the right to impose their own hatred on the children they are responsible for teaching. Your repeated denials as to what actually happened, given that all the facts presented show exactly the opposite of what you claim they do, makes you look like a teacher who is openly hostile to religion.

runawayyyy on September 13, 2013 at 3:02 PM

In America, there is no right to “freedom from” the sights and sounds of fellow citizens practicing the ‘recognition of God’ in . P U B L I C.

listens2glenn on September 13, 2013 at 10:16 PM

Free exercise thereof.

Ronnie on September 14, 2013 at 1:33 AM

It’s hysterics like these that make ever-stronger cases for school choice or homeschooling.

Strong case? Anyone who holds as important, their children’s ability to reason, to think freely and objectively, yet who select to have them “trained” in public schools, is now a failed parent.

Don’t complain about the money, don’t complain about the time. Love your kids enough to prevent them the destruction of their minds, hearts and souls which is government education.

Freelancer on September 14, 2013 at 3:30 PM

It’s hysterics like these that make ever-stronger cases for school choice or homeschooling.

It’s hysterics like these that make an ever stronger case for abolishing public education altogether.

philwynk on September 14, 2013 at 5:07 PM

If the point of the assignment was to practice biographical writing, then the child picked an entirely inappropriate subject… Jehova [sic] is no more a biographical personage than Odin or Zeus or Shiva.

eh on September 13, 2013 at 1:00 AM

Absolute bunk. It is dirt-simple and completely appropriate to write biographically about God, Odin, Zeus, Barney the Dinosaur, Caspar the Friendly Ghost, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, or any other literary character. The student should get extra credit for thinking of it.

Moreover, it is entirely plausible for a literary character to be one’s personal idol. You don’t think there are individuals alive who at one time idolized the Lone Ranger, Buck Rogers, Superman, or even Charlie McCarthy?

philwynk on September 14, 2013 at 5:16 PM

“Separation of Church and State” does not mean “Atheism is the State Religion.”

HitNRun on September 12, 2013 at 6:18 PM

I’m confused. I hear people all the time telling me that legislators aren’t even allowed to have their religious training in mind when they’re writing or voting for legislation. Do you mean to tell me that the First Amendment is not the founders’ attempt at mind control?

philwynk on September 14, 2013 at 5:23 PM

She should have then chosen Ted Bundy or Docktor Gosnell–guaranteed straight A+’s

Don L on September 15, 2013 at 10:49 AM

The girl’s choice of Michael Jackson was brilliant; not quite as brilliant as if she had picked Vishnu or Beelzebub, but brilliant nonetheless, for it illustrates the absurdity of the teacher’s position better than if she had chosen, say, MLK, Jr.

cavalier973 on September 15, 2013 at 1:10 PM

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