Ken Berwitz

In case you are under the misapprehension that academic brownshirts are only found in our colleges and universities…

…please read the following excerpt from Casy Harper\’s blog at  It concerns Jordan Wooley, a 7th grader at West Memorial JuniorHigh School in Katy, Texas, (just west of Houston), a school assignment she and her schoolmates were given, and the circumstancesunder which they were told to complete it:

 “Today I was given anassignment in school that questioned my faith and told me that God was notreal. Our teacher had started off saying that the assignment had been givingproblems all day. We were asked to take a poll to say whether God is fact, opinion or a myth and she told anyone whosaid fact or opinion was wrong and God was only a myth,” Wooley told the board,KHOU reports.

Wooley said studentswho argued were threatened with punishment. Wooley said her teacher asked herto prove God was true so she referenced the Bible and people who died and wentto Heaven but came back to tell their stories.

  “She told me thatboth were things that people were doing to get attention,” Wooley told theboard. “I know that it wasn\’t just me that was affected by it. My friendwent home and started crying.”

Wooley said her friendput God as “fact” on the assignment, and the teacher crossed it out severaltimes and told her it was “completely wrong.” A different friend got so upsetthat she threw everything off of her desk.

“Another child in myclass had asked the teacher if we could like try to put what we believe in onthe paper, and she said you can if you want to get the problem wrong,which you\’ll fail the paper if you do,” Wooley said. “I felt like this wasreally wrong, and I didn\’t feel like it was fair for my faith and my religionto have anything to do with what I\’m learning about in school.”

I don\’t know about you, but if I were in a position of authority at that school, the teacher would already have been fired.

What possible business is it for her, or any other teacher, to inject personal beliefs about a supreme being into the curriculum at all – and, far worse, to threaten that students who do not share those beliefs will fail.

There should be no warning, or acceptance of a boilerplate “apology” that no one would believe anyway.  This “teacher” should not be in a position to hold dominion over students in any public school.  Not for one more day.  

And, for the record, I would say exactly the same for any teacher who insisted his or her students say that God is a fact.  

Religious beliefs are PERSONAL and, unless you know someone who had a personal meeting with God, FAITH-BASED.  Other than teaching about religion and its influence on history or current events, it has no place in a public school.

And the academic brownshirts who insist their beliefs or non-beliefs about religion are the only acceptable version?  I suggest they go to a very hot place that this particular teacher evidently does not believe in at all.

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