As a new school year begins, the attack on Christianity in the public school system rages on. A teacher at an elementary school in Indiana not only forbade students in her class from speaking about God or Jesus in the classroom, she sent a letter to all the parents instructing them to silence their children’s faith as well. This flagrant violation of free speech is just the latest example of public schools suppressing the expression of Christianity by students who are believers.
According to reports on the incident at McCordsville Elementary School in Indiana:
“Drop the “God” talk.
And the “Jesus” talk. And the “devil” talk.
That was the message that went home with a class of McCordsville Elementary first-graders recently.
One of the school’s first-grade teachers sent a note home, asking parents to talk with their children about the “appropriate time and place” to talk about religion. Her classroom was the not the right place, she said.
“With McCordsville Elementary being a public school, we have many different religions and beliefs,” the unnamed teacher wrote, “and I do not want to upset a child/parent because of these words being used.”
The move backfired. Instead of preventing problems arising from religious talk in the classroom, the note kicked up a debate on students’ free speech rights.
“A handful of students were having a pretty heated debate about the existence of God and the devil,” explained Mt. Vernon Schools Superintendent Shane Robbins. “These are first-graders.” (source).
The backlash from the parents worked as the Superintendent was quick to defend the 1st graders right to free speech:
“There were a handful of parents that contacted us,” Robbins said. “They were offended that we were trying to quiet their children.” Robbins said the district’s response was simple: “We don’t do that.”
The district’s policy falls in line with state law, Robbins said, and says that religious expression cannot be inhibited or advanced. Robbins said the teacher is just in her second year and didn’t fully understand district and board policies.
Pray For Our Children
As Beginning And End has chronicled for many years, discrimination against the Christian faith and suppression of Christian expression has only increased in the public school system. While public schools and universities provide prayers rooms and ritual foot baths to accommodate Muslim students, Christian students receive no such treatment. In some school districts, teachers even attended service at a mosque in order to better understand and relate to Muslim students. Pray for schools to respect the First Amendment rights of all students and for Christian students young and old to continue to speak of their faith without shame or threat of punishment.
“But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 19:14.