An Alabama first grade teacher is facing the wrath of atheists after she used stories about Jesus during a state-endorsed lesson on the Easter holiday.
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The unnamed teacher at Moulton Elementary School in Lawrence County, was accused of giving children religious-themed coloring books that depicted Jesus along with a Bible verse telling the kids that “Jesus is alive.”
The lesson horrified the Freedom From Religion Foundation, an out-of-town gang of atheists, agnostics and free-thinkers.
“Using a religious holiday, Easter, as a pretext to teach religious lessons in a public school is unconstitutional,” FFRF staff attorney Chris Line wrote in a nasty letter to the school district. “The district has a duty to regulate religious proselytizing during school-sponsored activities.”
The atheists accused the teacher of attempting to indoctrinate the students.
“Public schools exist to educate, not to indoctrinate,” said FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “This school district must take action to stop proselytization of a captive audience of 5- and 6-year-old students.”
Superintendent Jon Bret Smith defended the teacher by pointing out she was following state guidelines on social studies.
In other words, she was just doing her job.
The Decatur Daily reports that first graders are supposed to “identify traditions and contributions of various cultures in the local community and state.”
Examples that were listed included Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Fourth of July and Cinco de Mayo.
“Easter is religious beliefs,” the superintendent told the newspaper. “We’re definitely covered with the course of study. We teach what has been approved by the state.”
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And according to state guidelines, teachers are allowed to teach children about religious beliefs.
“From my point of view, an investigation is not warranted,” Smith told the newspaper. “The teacher was teaching the course of study. The teacher was doing her job. Every teacher in the state of Alabama is charged to thoroughly teach the course of study.”
Line wondered if the teacher gave the students a Kwanzaa coloring book page as well.
“I highly doubt we will find out this was a neutral curriculum discussing religion,” Line said. “It’s pretty clear here the teacher was using Easter as an excuse to convert children to Christianity.”
He also hinted that there could be repercussions if the school district does not stop teaching children about Easter.
“If they want to violate the rights of students and push religion on the students, there’s always a possibility of future litigation,” he said. “If the district’s position is it’s OK for teachers to push religion on to the students, that will always be a liability for the district.”
The school district basically told the out-of-town at atheists, “Go ahead, punk. Make my day.”
Easter really is a holiday of miracles. We celebrate our Risen Lord and an Alabama school district that’s not afraid to stand up to a bunch of aggrieved atheists.