Question for the community:
I was recently at my son's 6th grade public school and I came across the following sign posted in the hallway.
It stated: "Want to learn more about Jesus? Come to Mrs. _______'s room Tuesdays during 6th Grade 2nd lunch to learn about Jesus & grow to become more like Him!"
I was immediately concerned about crossing the boundary of the separation of church and state. I sent a letter to the school's principal expressing my concerns but I haven't heard back yet.
My question is whether there is more to a situation like this than me walking through the halls and being offended by it. Not that I want it to or am expecting this to escalate, but are there legal implications to a public school teacher posting a sign in the hallway of a public school to bring students into her class during their lunches to learn to "grow to be more like Jesus"?
What are your thoughts?
I am still having a hard time believing that a 6th grader wrote and posted these flyers.
I would, too ... and I'd bet you a cup of coffee that the kid's parents put him up to it. That said, the principal is still your point person. Personally, I'd tell him point-blank that the activity in question is in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, and that the FFRF is in the bullpen if they want to press a bad position. If they want to hold such a meeting, it can be after school hours ... or they can face a lawsuit.
That school remains public property, and as such, a religious meeting of that nature shouldn't be held there at all, and I don't care how religious the population of that community is.
My sister lives up the street from the home of a 7 year old. This little boy will innocently meet you where the sidewalk meets his parents' lawn to ask, "have you accepted Jesus Christ as your lord and savior? Are you saved?" What dictatorship wouldn't want to employ this master of indoctrination -- cute as hell and can recite rehearsed rhetoric. So, yes, I can believe a 6th grader came up with the "Jesus club."
I do, however, agree with Chris. I find it hard to believe that a teacher will be present at these meeting just to supervisor. I can see a teacher being a cheerleader, "yes, Billy, tell the other kids about Jesus walking across the water. It's such a good story!" Or, the teacher being the antagonist, "yes, Billy, tell the story of Jesus walking across the water. Tell how a mortal rabbi in his mid to late twenties took a stroll across a shark infested body of water, and his sandals didn't even get wet." I cannot believe that the teacher is just going to sit there, unbiased, and moderate this meeting. Religion is not a calm, unbiased topic.
I'm still on the fence about "...if students want to have a meeting about Legos during their lunch, then they can have a meeting about Legos." I'm reading this as the principal stating that this is his school and if he (or the superintendent) says a child can have a meeting about whatever his/her little heart desires, then the child can have a meeting, and nobody better question his judgement. I know I am coming off rather skeptical, but for the few years I've lived in the Bible Belt, I have learned so much about the dangers of questioning "the powers that be" authority.
I would like to see Chris attend this meeting. In my opinion, your presence will be enough to keep the teacher quiet. Really, what teacher would be stupid enough to express an opinion on Jesus with a parent being present. Surely, the principal would warn the teacher not to express an opinion either way, because that is a great way to get irate parents barking at the school board, or a metric ton of lawyers waving writs of cease and desist at the school board.
p.s., One of the things that gets me in trouble "in the land of cotton," is my sense of humor. I introduced myself to the little born again indoctrinator as "Lucille Fur, but call me Lucy. Lucy Fur." Yup, the child told his parents, and the parents came to my sister's house to tell her what an awful person I am. Good times by all.
Dougibert, the dangers of questioning the powers in the bible belt is a very real thing. I'm the only open atheist in these parts. When the coach of my, eight year old, g-daughters basketball team lead them in prayer, on the court floor, before the first game, I could have fallen off the bleacher. Did I want to say something? You bet your ass. But, do I want my young g-daughter stigmatized for the views of her odd g-mother? Hell no. So, I kept my mouth shut. But, when the same coach/teacher asked for prayers for her family, by text message, (only because a game was postponed due to a death in her family) I politely responded that my thoughts were with her and she was kind enough to thank me and let it go at that.She's one of the very few teachers I like but I can't and won't let anyone believe I'm a theist or that I pray. She's not abrasive with her religion as most people are in this area and she's taught both my g-daughters, at different times, for over six years now.
Sometimes, in these parts, and only for my g-children, I've just gotta adjust. And, the Lucy Fur was very funny.
Dougibert - Lucille Fur. Laughed out loud at that one. Reminds me of the Robert De Niro character in Angel Heart - Mr. Louis Cipher.
Your principal is lieing and also covering, hoping that none of this comes to legal actions. If that happens it appears that the principal wants to be thought of equally well by all even though he allowed it to happen. Politics at its best.
Why do the religious say Jesus was such a nice guy even though he mandated burning non-believers and told people to cut off hands, feet, eyes and sexual organs? What a disgrace. Whoever this teacher is I would put a lawsuit on her.
Be like Jesus.
Does she really know what Jesus is like?What is her fantasy about Jesus.?
Children have enough in which to deal just growing Up.
Maybe she teaches the anatomy & physiology of Jesus.I would like to know if he had testicals & penis.and,did he pee on the side of road.
I would like radio interview her.
What do I know.!!
...Maybe she teaches the anatomy & physiology of Jesus...
I bet that's it! Perhaps it's a class in stage make-up -- you get a beard and Semitic features, maybe some faux piercing of the extremities...
In retrospect, the ideal response to "if a kid wants to start a Lego discussion, he/she can do that too," would be along the lines of, "Great! How about the Junior Muslims then? What about the Young Atheists? I can't wait to tell my nieces/nephews that they can finally get those going......"
Christians always forget about how religious tolerance means OTHER religions too.
To xians, religious tolerance = xian tolerance. I just love asking them about the other versions of heaven, and they say "that's ridiculous". That's where the fun starts.
Other versions of heaven. Well, there are no animals up there (wherever up there is?) even though the old pesterment has spirit animals all over the sky. Live people are up there coz they didn't have to die, and they got translated. (Or beamed or something.) If you need money just dig up the gold streets. (God is really rich, you know.) Everybody has their own mansion, and you can pray the lumber up there to build yours with. (If you do not so this, I guess they just give it to you.)
Why no animals in heaven? They didn't have a spirit, Chumley, and neither do you!