A North Carolina high school teacher publicly shamed students who belong to a Christian group after they posted a Bible verse about prayer.
“Don’t worry about anything, instead pray about everything,” the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at West Johnston High School wrote on a hallway poster.
That message prompted teacher Brian VanDerlaske to post a personal message alongside the Bible verse, the Johnston County Report reported.
“If you are sick you should go to the doctor. This is terrible medical advice. Some people have died/gone to jail because of it.”
The teacher also posted a copy of an online news article about parents who were sent to jail for relying on prayers to save their dying daughter.
So the subtle message from the teacher was that prayer is stupid and could get you thrown in jail.
The school district issued a statement to television station CBS17.com noting they were working “with the school principal to fully investigate the facts and decide on an appropriate response.”
The teacher has since apologized for his behavior. He sent an email message to the local newspaper.
“Because of my personal experience of ignoring cancer symptoms for too long, I made a poor choice to offer unsolicited advice in an inappropriate venue and in the wrong tone. It was not my intention to cause distress to any students, staff, parents or community members. I have been a teacher for over ten years, and I strive to provide a positive learning environment for all of the students in our school. I take full ownership of my mistake and I will work to be and do better everyday,” he wrote.
Ironically, this guy was named teacher of the year for a project involving kindness and gratitude.
I have no doubt the Fellowship of Christian Athletes welcomed the teacher’s apology. Let’s just hope he’s learned his lesson and will think twice about shaming school children.