In September, 10 year old Erin Shead and her class were asked to write about their idol. Erin chose to write about God and how He created the earth. Erin’s mom thought that her daughter’s assignment was very cute and inspiring, but her teacher did not share the same appreciation.
When Erin’s teacher found out that she was going to write about God, she told the girl that she had to pick someone else and that she wouldn’t accept the assignment because it had something to do with God. The teacher went so far as to tell Erin that she had to take her assignment about God off of school property because it might be a violation of the First Amendment. How can writing about your religion be a violation of the freedom of religion? The teacher obviously was clueless about the Constitution and the law. Basically, the teacher told Erin that God was not allowed in her public school.
Erin ended up doing the assignment twice, first with God as her idol and then choosing Michael Jackson as an idol to write about, which was very acceptable to the teacher. However, due to the scene the teacher created, her fellow students began teasing her about her faith in God.
When Erin got home that day, she asked her mother if she was allowed to talk about God at school or not.
Erin’s mom, Erica contacted the principal to complain about the teacher’s reaction to her daughter’s desire to write about God. She said she asked the principal:
“How can you tell this baby, that’s a Christian, what she can say and what she can’t say?”
“I told the principal this morning: would it be better if she wrote about Ellen DeGeneres? Of course there was no comment.”
Jeremy Dys, an attorney with the Liberty Institute came to the aid of the Snead family and met with the school officials. After the meeting, Erin was allowed to turn in her first assignment about God and received an A for her paper. After the meeting, Erin’s mom told the local news:
“[She simply] wanted Erin’s right to be able to express herself not to ever be taken away again.”
“I just wanted every Christian to know that we have a right to be able to express ourselves. We understand that they’ve taken prayer out of schools, but they cannot take God out of our children.”
“Of course students can talk and write about God in school. Young teachers, like Erin’s, have been barraged with so much false information for so long that they are afraid that a 10-year-old student’s coloring assignment might violate the First Amendment. That kind of intimidation by the ACLU and Freedom from Religion Foundation is wrong and is precisely what Liberty Institute was founded to combat.”
I’ve heard of numerous cases where uninformed teachers and administrators are so afraid of lawsuit that they readily accept the anti-Christian propaganda of the ACLU, Freedom from Religion Foundation and other atheist groups that readily trample all over the constitutional rights of students and teachers. If your kids or anyone else’s kids that you know of have had their constitutional rights violated by teachers or school administrators, you need to contact someone like Liberty Institute to help get those rights back. If not challenged and proven wrong, teachers and school officials will continue to trample all over your child’s rights of freedom of religion and speech.