A first grade teacher in Smithville, Texas is facing a firestorm of criticism from some parents after she posted video of her students reciting a Bible verse.
The Facebook video, which has been deleted, showed boys and girls at Brown Primary School quoting a passage of Scripture from the New Testament book of Romans.
“Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good,” the children in Susan Schobel’s class said.
Ms. Schobel described the ritual as their daily Bible verse, the Austin Statesman-American reported.
She allegedly wrote in a later comment that if “she got fired for teaching about Jesus, she’d be getting fired for a great reason,” the newspaper also reported.
A small, but vocal group of parents, were upset about the daily Bible recitations — arguing that Jesus has no place in a public school classroom.
“Putting aside the fact that it’s unconstitutional, every child deserves to be raised up developing their own values or values based on their family’s,” parent Charlie Lucko told Fox 7. “I don’t have anything against religion. I actually love Jesus. I love his teachings, his practices, and it’s been a big impact in my life, but I don’t believe that belongs in the public school system.”
The school district admitted the teacher stepped over a line — but they did not say if she would face any sort of punishment.
“We encourage and celebrate these freedoms and welcome the diversity of thought, worship, ideas and speech in our community,” Supt. Cheryl Burns wrote in a statement. “We support the right of students to express themselves. We support our employees’ free speech and free exercise rights as well, while being mindful of their on-duty responsibilities.”
I reached out to a number of religious liberty experts and they all agreed – the teacher broke the rules.
A 1963 Supreme Court ruling, Abington School District vs. Schempp, struck down public school-sponsored Bible readings and prayer as unconstitutional.
We are a nation built on a foundation girded by Judeo-Christian principles. All of our founding documents are flavored with the faith of our Founding Fathers.
It’s unfortunate we live in a society where those same values are now verboten.
But according to the law of the land, the Golden Rule has been banished from government schools.