Saturday, January 12, 2013

School Sides with Atheists vs. Christian Teacher

The Freedom From Religion Foundation of Madison, WI threatened to sue the Cheektowaga (New York) Central School District if the classroom of science teacher Joelle Silver continued to have a few scripture messages on the wall.  The school promptly complied with the atheist demands by threatening to fire the teacher. Silver removed the Christian messages, and has now sued the school for censoring her right of free speech in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York.

On the teacher's wall was a poster of an American flag and school books, with this scripture: “Be on guard. Stand true to what you believe. Be courageous. Be strong. And everything you do must be done in love.” Also, posted were quotes by President Reagan: “without God democracy will not and cannot endure” and “If ever we forget that we are One nation Under God, then we will be a Nation gone under.”

For background, read New Jersey Teacher Investigated for Christian Beliefs and also read Teachers Forbidden Private Christian Lives as well as Teacher Suspended for Christian Beliefs at Home and then read Teacher Fired for Bible Gift at New Jersey School

-- From "Cheektowaga teacher sues over forced removal of religious items" by Jay Tokasz, Buffalo News Staff Reporter 1/10/13

Silver, who lives in Amherst, is being represented by the American Freedom Law Center, a nonprofit law firm that focuses on religious liberty cases.

Attorney Robert J. Muise maintained that constitutional violations occurred when district officials forced Silver to remove the religious materials. “They essentially want her to cease being a Christian once she enters school district property,” said Muise.

Superintendent Dennis Kane said the district was caught in the middle of a dispute between “two big special-interest groups” and was likely to be sued regardless of what it did or didn’t do.

After consulting with a district lawyer and an attorney for the district’s insurance carrier, district officials issued an eight-page “counseling letter” to Silver, said Kane, who is named personally in the suit along with School Board President Brian J. Gould.

The case dates back to last June, when a student alerted the Freedom From Religion Foundation to a poster with a biblical verse in Silver’s class and a drawing of three crosses on a wall near her desk.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Teacher Ordered to Cleanse Christianity From Classroom Under Threat of Termination Files Suit" by Heather Clark, Christian News Network 1/11/13

. . . In addition, a prayer box that sat in the room as part of Silver’s role as the faculty adviser for the student Bible club was also to be nixed. It had been decorated by students and allowed others to place their prayer requests inside so that the club members could pray. According to Silver’s legal representation, the district “pressured Silver into resigning as faculty adviser for the student Bible Study Club, which was formed pursuant to the Equal Access Act.”

“Consequently, if you choose to continue monitoring the Bible Study Club next school year, you must carefully re-examine [district policies], so that you can better protect that club from being disciplined and possibly banned,” the letter admonished. “Under no circumstances should you participate in the club’s meetings or activities. Likewise, under no circumstances should you permit any club activities that could be interpreted as being promoted or sponsored by yourself, or the larger district for which you work.”

“If you need to be able to occasionally glance at inspirational Bible verses between classes during the course of the day, I suggest that you keep such material in a discreet folder that only you will have access to,” the letter stated. “You may keep such a folder in a drawer of your desk, so long as you take precautions not to share it or disclose its content to your students or their parents or guardians.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

UPDATE 1/13/13 From "Teacher Forced to Remove Reagan Quote, Bible Verses" by Todd Starnes, 1/13/13

“When they launched the investigation, the literally went through her classroom with a fine-tooth comb and removed anything that had anything to do with Christianity,” [Muise] said. “I’ve never seen anything like that. Ms. Silver does not cease being a Christian nor does she shed her constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate.”

Muise filed the lawsuit in federal court. He said his client received a letter saying that if she failed to comply with the school district’s religious cleansing she would face “serious disciplinary consequences, including the termination of her employment.

The AFLC found it ironic that the district allows teachers to promote non-Christian displays in their classrooms – including one teacher who promotes gay rights.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Religious Liberty & Anti-Christian Totalitarianism as well as School Doesn't Back Gay Agenda, Obama Investigates and yet President Obama Denies Leading War Against Christianity