Comments about ‘Teacher accepts student's assignment about Michael Jackson, but not the one about God’

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Published: Monday, Sept. 16 2013 3:00 p.m. MDT

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JD Jones
Salt Lake City, UT

So the teacher didn't understand the policy about not discussing God in the classroom. Yawn.


Depending on the parameters of the assignment, I see no reason god should have been disallowed. I also see no reason to disallow any of the Roman, Greek, or Pagan gods or goddesses, any of the Disney princesses, or, for that matter, Ellen DeGeneres - although I am puzzled as to why the mother would single out Ellen and suggest there is some reason she would be more or less acceptable than any other individual real or imagined.

The Scientist
Provo, UT

Well, duh. Michael Jackson was real!


It is getting harder and harder to convince government that they have no right to limit free expression of religion. They have been indoctrinated for years that religion is bad, so of course it would be natural to chastise the child that looks up to God. This just cannot be tolerated in the Progressive model of education.

Like any right we now enjoy, if we don't exercise it we lose it.

Kings Court
Alpine, UT

This article makes it sound like the teacher is some kind of boogey-man, but odds are the teacher was trying to be safe. There are so many can and can't do's in public schools, that you just about need a lawyer to teach a classroom full of kids anymore. Part of the problem is that there is such a diverse set of opinions among parents that it is easy to offend someone over something. I think teachers just need to have a John Galt moment and vanish for a while because they can't take the madness anymore, then see what happens.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

I was about to come down hard on the teacher even though I support the profession. However, after reading Kings Court, it seems to make sense. Teachers live in a legal wasteland. I mean hand sanitizer is now a controlled substance banned in some schools. I mean teachers don't know what to do anymore because everything is illegal or an OSHA violation.

Cedar City, UT

The scientist,
As a scientist myself I wonder what motivates you to profess there is no God. The idea of god is something that is impossible to disprove. Just because you don't see him does not mean he does not exist. You would also write off any evidences as emotion or lack of intelligence. The idea of professing god is not real seems unscientific to me. You can say you do not believe in god but can not claim to know that he does not exist.

Tucson, AZ

@Kings Court and @Howard Beal I think just the opposite would be true. If teachers were really concerned about illegality, then shouldn't the teacher have thought that disallowing the student to write about God would be asking for trouble? As a teacher myself, I am astonished that the teacher did that. Most teachers know that most of what originates from the student is protected under the 1st Amendment. The courts have ruled that there are some things that do not such as certain dress codes that can be determined by the school district.

Kearns, UT

The government didn't limit the child's freedom of speech. A teacher made an error in judgment, and the district corrected the problem. This just looks like another attempt to show that our religious freedoms are being eroded. For every teacher who makes an error like this, I am sure we could find a dozen who would allow the student to write a book report about the Bible, Book of Mormon, or Quran.

Mission Viejo, CA

Did you guys happen to read to the bottom of the article where the school says it was wrong of the teacher and the parties have all reconciled? If there was an outstanding issue, I could see how this would be national news, but there is no outstanding issue here.

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

Based on the historical bigotry, racism, and violence perpetrated in the name of religion in that region of the country, I would say that the God they worship in Tennessee would not be a proper "idol" to write about.

Thanks for religion-bating though, DesNews.

Tooele, UT

If the little girl had just said, "I look up to Allah," there would have been no problem.

Tooele, UT


Liberals are the foremost, number one champions of free speech, free expression and open minded discussion.

That is unless they disagree with you.

Eldersburg, MD


Well said and true to the reality of conditions in this country not so easily seen by many who are fooled by political correctness, secularism, and other matters of one-sided favoritism.

When the freedoms of one ideology (secularism) trump freedoms of another (religion), yet both are supposed to have equal protection under the law, then the implementation of the constitution has become subjective. Freedom is then biased.

People say, I don't see any discriminatory practice against religion and believe those who claim such events are religious right nut jobs. But, that's because their beliefs aren't being attacked constantly. Their advocates are the aggressors in tearing down traditional values in favor of secular principles and political correctness.

The hypocrisy in the implementation of these types of actions and policy sold as fairness, equality, and balance shifts from being a mantra to a corrupt fight for control and domination.

Isn't that in fact exactly why most people who brand themselves secularists, atheists, and advocates of political correctness, take no offense or see no harm in their beliefs trumping the opposition, just like religion has historically done?

How are other domineering ideologies in the world any different?

Layton, UT

Interesting that the article was about writing about your "idol", but that God was not allowed...

Bakersfield, CA

A nice ending to a conflict, if all was reported here. Understanding opened up, and no one was gunned down. I am actually glad that it came out in the first place, showing how the parent asked school authorities to show her the evidence, and gave them the opportunity to respond. Isn't that the goal of misunderstanding?

Both of my parents were educators and teachers have a tough time dealing with the obnoxious parent. As a superintendent and principal, my Dad had to work with all kinds, from school boards to egotistical administrators. We had to keep encouraging my Mom to retire from substitute teaching up to age 78. Her phone would ring off the hook in St. George, seeking her teaching gifts. Her secret was loving kids, listening to all sides, and then sticking to her goal of educating.

A funny aside shows how impartial a teacher my Mom was. Not knowing that a 2nd grade Michael Jackson in her class was famous, she pointed to a little Jackson Five singer belting out a song on our TV. "Oh, that little guy needs tutoring. He daydreams all day!"

small town, UT

Are kids allowed to take His name in vain? Yes. Teachers take his name in vain? Yes. But, oh, spare us, don't ever use His name in something positive. We really NEED Him to watch over us in these scary situations!! How long will God bless America?

Christmas Carole

EXACTLY as I feel(not sure I could have said it as well..)THANKS!

salt lake city, utah

Physics27, "You would also write off any evidences as emotion or lack of intelligence". Physics, just because you don't believe it doesn't mean it isn't true.

Pleasant Grove, UT

In this case, the teacher was wrong and the school said as much and corrected it. The ongoing problem over the decades has been encroachment upon religious freedom by schools and teachers trying to push their own beliefs on students and others, not schools limiting those expressions. The violations come into play when a teacher or student speaker has a captive audience, particularly in a forum where any response or disagreement is not allowed, and/or where the beliefs being proffered would reasonably appear to have the power of the State behind them. For example, posting of religious materials or erection of religious symbols by the school or State is a clear First Amendment violation, regardless of whether the religion being promoted is "majority" or "minority" religion. Keep in mind that if we "let God back in the classroom", as some demand, the God being brought in may not be the same God that you worship, and the forms of worship being promoted may be for a religion which you do not believe or find acceptable for your children.

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