Recently, a California teacher made headlines when she tried to take away a seven-year-old boy’s freedom of speech. The second grader, who goes to a public school, would share notes with his friends at lunchtime. But when the teacher saw what they were, she reprimanded the boy and then the school dispatched a Sheriff’s deputy to the boy’s home because of these notes.
What were they? Terrorist threats? Bomb instructions? Lewd content? No. They were innocent Bible verses…
The notes the boy had in his lunch box were not meant to cause any harm. They were only there to inspire. And other children were being inspired by the Christian verses. And they asked the boy for more notes so they could take them home too.
Now the California elementary school has been accused of violating the boy’s First Amendment rights.
Just as atheist groups have been fighting to remove all religious symbols from public schools, the Liberty Counsel, a Christian group and nonprofit has come together in support of this boy.
They are threatening legal action on the Desert Rose Elementary School in Palmdale, California, for “an outrageous violation of a first grader’s constitutional rights.”
The boy, identified as “C” read the Bible verses his mom put in his lunch out loud at lunch. Other students loved them and asked for more. The boy’s mother Christina realized the verses were so popular she packed copies and even included short stories for context.
But the California teachers didn’t like it. The teacher called Christina and said the verses would no longer be allowed because of the “separation of church and state.”
C would only be allowed to pass out Bible verses when class was over and by the school gate.
Nevertheless, students started gathering at the gate begging C for more Bible verse. The principal hated this and demanded that C leave the school premises…
C and Jaime Zavala, C’s father, complied and started handing out the verses across the street from the school. Later that day, the police knocked on their door. The officer said that “someone might be offended” although the whole process had offended the Christian students.
The Palmdale School District superintendent, Raul Maldonado confirms they called the police. But he claimed to be ignorant as to why the police were called.
“The District remains committed to ensuring an environment where all students, regardless of religious affiliation or belief, are free to learn and reach their full potential,” Maldonado said.
The Los Angeles police released the following statement
“On May 9, 2016, a school resource deputy from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department made contact with the parents of a student regarding the dissemination of literature on school grounds. Upon making contact with the student’s parents, and learning more about what had occurred, the deputy reaffirmed the student’s rights and provided the parents information on the school’s policy for distribution of materials. We thank our community and school partners, including the faith community for their support of our deputy’s professional and compassionate demeanor while interacting with the student and his family. “Oftentimes, school resource deputies make home visits to fulfill the Sheriff’s Department’s mission of enforcing the law fairly and defending the rights of all by partnering with the people we serve to promote safety in our communities.”
The Liberty Counsel is threatening a lawsuit if the school doesn’t stop suppressing C’s Christian faith.
Do you think students should be able to read Bible verses at school?
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