The religious views of the majority v. the rights of others
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    Default The religious views of the majority v. the rights of others

    School Allegedly Told Buddhist Student His Faith Is 'Stupid' & He Should Convert Or Switch Schools | ThinkProgress

    We believe that

    A Louisiana teacher who taught her sixth grade class that evolution is ?impossible? and that the bible is ?100 percent true? ridiculed a Buddhist student during class and announced that those who don?t believe in god are ?stupid,? according to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana.
    When the child?s parents reported the incidents, the Sabine Parish superintendent allegedly told them ?this is the Bible Belt,? and asked whether the child, referred to as ?C.C.? could either change his faith or transfer to a school where ?there are more Asians.?
    According to the ACLU, the teacher, Rita Rourke, works at a school in Sabine Parish, La., that consistently touts Christian beliefs through portraits of Jesus Christ in the halls, a ?lighted, electronic marquee? outside the school that scrolls Bible verses, and regular staff member recitation of prayers with students during class. ?The day after meeting with the Lanes, the Superintendent sent a letter to Negreet Principal Gene Wright stating that she approved of Negreet?s official religious practices. Wright read the letter to the entire Negreet student body over the school?s public-address system,? according to the complaint.
    C.C.?s parents did transfer him to another school to curb his daily physical nausea and anxiety, even though it is a 30-minute drive from their home. But the school is in the same district, and also promotes religious beliefs. The District posts a belief statement on its website that says, ?We believe that: God exists.? And C.C.?s new school begins student assemblies and events with prayer. The ACLU lawsuit alleges that the school and the district are improperly coercing religious practices by students and endorsing beliefs in violation of the First Amendment.
    C.C.?s original teacher, Rourke, has also continued to promote religious beliefs, giving students extra credit points for including a bible verse or the phrase, ?Isn?t it amazing what the Lord has made,? at the bottom of exams. She told her class that Buddhism is ?stupid? and, ?no one can stay alive that long without eating.? And she told her students that ?if evolution was real, it would still be happening: Apes would be turning into humans today.?
    How would you like to see this play out?

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    For reference is this a public or private school?

    ~Bonita~

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    It's a public school system.

    The obvious stuff aside, that public schools should not be choosing one religion over the other and all....I'm always appalled when someone's religious belief system allows them to tell a child that he/she is wrong for their belief system. That makes me want to vomit.
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    Obviously a public school should not be able to deny a student or ridicule a student based on religion.

    ~Bonita~

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    Its mind boggling to me that stuff like this still happens. And people wonder why the bible belt has a hard time changing their image to those who are not from around there.

    Although it would seem to me, based on the article that a lot of people don't care about changing that image. Which doesn't make it right of course...but still.

    Oh the question was how should this be handled. I really have no idea. I feel bad for that child, what a hostile environment for a kid to grow up in.
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    That teacher needs to be fired, and the superintendent needs to be fired. They are clearly violating the separation of church and state schools and promoting hatred and discrimination. WTF is the problem with just keeping YOUR religion to YOURSELF and OUT of the schools?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacers View Post
    That teacher needs to be fired, and the superintendent needs to be fired. They are clearly violating the separation of church and state schools and promoting hatred and discrimination. WTF is the problem with just keeping YOUR religion to YOURSELF and OUT of the schools?
    I agree with this, but the reason why i say i don't know how it should be handled is who hands down this order? If everyone around you is pretty much supportive of this school staff's stance aside from a very small powerless minority, how do you go about making this happen?

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    Quote Originally Posted by KimPossible View Post
    I agree with this, but the reason why i say i don't know how it should be handled is who hands down this order? If everyone around you is pretty much supportive of this school staff's stance aside from a very small powerless minority, how do you go about making this happen?
    Kim, I agree. I think that the law in this case is pretty clear, and it's clear that the school district is violating it and creating a very hostile learning environment for non-Christians in the process. But I also think it's a case of "noone who has the power to make these decisions gives a flip if they are breaking the law or disenfranchising non-Christians." It's sad and frustrating but I don't know a good way to handle it other than what is being done - a lawsuit. Even then, I don't know that the lawsuit can actually mandate that anyone specific loses their job, just that the school cease and desist in discriminatory practices.
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    I am not sure teachers should be fired if this kind of environment is accepted in this district. It is up to the superintendent and the school board to really establish the culture for what is acceptable in that district.

    When my girls were in public school they attended a school where a large majority of the teachers were Christian. They did not make it obvious, but I subbed quite a bit and was invited to a prayer time with them. The school dist was pretty clear on what was acceptable. I never once felt like any of the teachers showed a preference towards one religion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mom3girls View Post
    I am not sure teachers should be fired if this kind of environment is accepted in this district. It is up to the superintendent and the school board to really establish the culture for what is acceptable in that district.

    When my girls were in public school they attended a school where a large majority of the teachers were Christian. They did not make it obvious, but I subbed quite a bit and was invited to a prayer time with them. The school dist was pretty clear on what was acceptable. I never once felt like any of the teachers showed a preference towards one religion.
    Any certificated teacher has to know that Christianizing a public school violates federal law so being fired over it should be no surprise. And the people in the district who have allowed this to continue should not be surprised to be fired over it, either. Especially when the response, when it was finally brought to their attention, was not "Oh, so sorry, let's fix this ASAP!" but, "Can't you put your kid into a school with more Asians?" That this would EVER be considered an acceptable policy position is beyond me, and the leadership in Louisiana should make certain that this stops here & now.

    FTR, I have no problem with teachers, or anyone being Christian or practicing their religion in private. I have a HUGE problem with them making a public school into a Christian space. Schools need to be religion-neutral.
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