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School apologizes and accepts student's original assignment about God

Published: Saturday, Aug. 29 2015 6:52 a.m. MDT

Last week, 10-year-old Erin Shead's teacher told her she could not write about God for an in-class assignment. (Screenshot from wreg.com) Last week, 10-year-old Erin Shead's teacher told her she could not write about God for an in-class assignment. (Screenshot from wreg.com)

An elementary school near Memphis, Tenn., received a wave of media attention last month when one of its teachers rejected a student's paper about God as her idol. The school has since apologized to 10-year-old Erin Shead and her mother, Erica, and has accepted the school assignment, giving it a score of 100 percent.

“Students can talk and write about God in school," said Jeremy Dys, an attorney for Liberty Institute, in a press release. "Young teachers, like Erin's, have been barraged with so much false information for so long that they are afraid that a 10-year-old student's coloring assignment might violate the First Amendment."

The original class assignment was for students to write about an idol of choice, but when Erin wrote about God, her teacher told her that was unacceptable and instructed her to choose a different person. The teacher accepted Erin’s next idol assignment about Michael Jackson.

Last week, 10-year-old Erin Shead's teacher told her she could not write about God for an in-class assignment. (Screenshot from wreg.com) Last week, 10-year-old Erin Shead's teacher told her she could not write about God for an in-class assignment. (Screenshot from wreg.com)

"I just wanted every Christian to know that we have a right to be able to express ourselves," Erica Shead said to a news reporter, according to the press release. "We understand that they've taken prayer out of schools, but they cannot take God out of our children."

According to The Christian Post, Erin's teacher said she was nervous and did not know how to handle the situation.

Abby Stevens is a writer for the DeseretNews.com Faith and Family sections. She is a graduate of Brigham Young University–Idaho. Contact Abby at astevens@deseretdigital.com.

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