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Parents Outraged When They Hear What Teacher Said About God To 1st Graders

A teacher may have overstepped her bounds already just as the new school year began. According to reports, the unidentified teacher sent home messages to parents last week complaining about students who were discussing religion at the public school. The teacher said certain religious words need to be kept out of the classroom, and parents were outraged by the attempt at censorship.

The unnamed teacher at McCordsville Elementary School, in Indiana, sent the parents of her first-graders a note reminding them that it was a public school. As such, she believes God has no place in it. She tried to silence students who were talking about God during school.

“With McCordsville Elementary being a public school, we have many different religions and beliefs, and I do not want to upset a child/parent because of these words being used,” the teacher wrote in a note obtained by Fox 59 News. “If you go to church or discuss these things at home, please have a talk with your child about there being an appropriate time and place of talking about it.”

The teacher says words like 'God', 'Jesus' and 'the devil' have no place in a public school. Parents didn't agree, and called the school to complain. Many parents felt that children have every right to discuss their beliefs, including beliefs in God, at school.

According to the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. has a separation of church and state. This means that the government can't establish a religion or favor one above another; it doesn't mean private citizens are banned from any mention of religion in public places.

The establishment clause also means that the government can't interfere with a private citizen's freedom to practice a religion. This is generally taken to mean that people are allowed to talk about their religion openly and freely, and the government can't stop them.

The school superintendent made a smart move and sided with the U.S. Constitution. He clarified the school's policy on religion. According to him, students are not banned from referring to religious beliefs, as long as they are not talking when they should be listening, or distracting from the lesson.

“To simply summarize, [district] employees can neither advance nor inhibit religious views,” Superintendent Shane Robbins wrote. “Trying to limit a student’s view on religion is a violation of a student’s first amendment rights. However, if the discussion becomes an academic disruption, then as a district, we can intervene to maintain the integrity of the educational process while at the same time being sure to not violate a student’s constitutional rights.”

A staff member at the school said that the school considers the issue a 'personal matter' and would not comment on the identity of the teacher, or whether she's been reprimanded for her message. Robbins said that only a handful of parents complained.

“They were offended that we were trying to quiet their children,” Robbins told the New York Post. “We don’t do that.”

Source: New York Post
Photo: Daily Reporter, YouTube, Fox 59, Flickr

A parent shared the letter.

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