I'm an Atheist, and I have no problem with some kid wanting to read the
Bible during free reading time. My problem is when religious folks insist that
intelligent design, which is has nothing to do with science, should be taught
along side evolution, which is scientifically solid. If you believe in the
intelligent design, fine; just don't insist that it's science.
An altogether fair and balanced response on the part of the father and the
Liberty Institute. No individuals or the school were vilified, and the teacher
and school were invited to act consistent with established policy. Respect for
diversity takes many forms.
America is heading over a cliff and we have our "teachers" helping get
us their faster!Also, Can the teachers union self regulate?
I'm calling all the teachers in America out.Clean up your own
problems. Kick these guys out of your ranks!Remember the Alamo!
Did Davey Crockett die so our kids can be bullied by liberals?
Sounds like this school district is another liberal Christian hater. I hope they
don't give up and force this anti-Christian school district to follow the
law and not make up their own.
I listened to the voice mail the "teacher" left the father. Without
reading too much into a person's diction and word choice -- oh, heck,
that's exactly what I'm doing: She's a complete mouth-breather,
emblematic of everything wrong with public education, given a little authority
and no restraint against it going to her head, such as it is.
Perhaps there is more to the story than we are getting here in this very brief
news article. Still, there is some irony in the Liberty Institute citing
federal education policy to inculpate the teacher and the local school district
JD Jones: although many in the scientific community argue that evolution is
science, it is not. It is a theory into which all findings have been shoehorned
for the last century. It remains a theory, in that the evidence is all
circumstantial and is interpreted with the "truth" of evolution as a
given assumption. From amphibious apes to Dawkins' circular argument that
we know it's true because it happened, evolutionists have assumed the
validity of the initial step in their odyssey without subjecting it to rigorous
scientific scrutiny. To believe in evolution requires many leaps of faith
comparable to the most superstitious of religions, and evolutionists ought to
re-examine their assumption in order to subject it to scientific method and to
ask themselves why they want to believe in it. Ditto even more so for
non-scientist jump-on-the-most convenient-bandwagon atheists.
From the school district web page about the Accelerated Reader Program:
"Students select books from a wide range of titles based on their
readability level. After reading the books, students take a computerized
comprehension test, receiving points based on the difficulty and length of the
book."A search brought up 20 pages worth of books about religion
and Bible chapters themselves. The Bible chapters were something called
"NIV Student Version." So perhaps the student's personal Bible did
not qualify if he wanted to receive the associated credits? Perhaps the father
- who seem to anticipate this and prepped his son on how to respond - was
looking for a fight? I'm suspicious because of the Liberty
Institute's involvement. They apparently have a track record of
unsubstantiated claims.So maybe this is really about a technicality
that someone with an agenda is attempting to exploit. It remains under
investigation so we'll see. But if this really is about a child being
prevented from reading a Bible on his free time, then I agree - that
Article quote: "Not only did his teacher, Swornia Thomas, make the comments
at school, but she then called 12-year-old Giovanni Rubeo's father about
the situation. "I noticed that he has a book — a religious book
— in the classroom," Thomas said in a message left for Giovanni's
father. "He’s not permitted to read those books in my
classroom.""OK, so would someone from the liberal side
tell me again how they think that conservatives, and Christians specifically,
are NOT being persecuted by "government" entities?(And, yes,
public schools are government entities since they receive tax dollars.)
@ Karen R.If you listen to the message by the teacher to the father she
states specifically :"I noticed that he has a book — a
religious book — in the classroom," Thomas said in a message left for
Giovanni's father. "He’s not permitted to read those books in my
classroom."She could have easily said "He is not allow to
read that specific version of the bible" but she says "a religious
book".If it was as you say a different version of the bible it
should really matter.
@ JDJones. Though I have defended the theory of evolution in many different
settings, I am not so blind that I can’t see inexplicable problems with
it. The Cambrian explosion is a geological fact yet it runs directly counter to
Darwin's theory that evolution is orderly. It's a huge
leap from theories about the earliest primitive and simple organic molecules
evolving into complex organic molecules such as DNA. Where are the intermediate
organic molecules and how did they spontaneously evolve? Evolution
cannot explain complex anatomical adaptation. The inner ear, eyes, gills, lungs,
etc. are very complex and composed of different interdependent parts that had to
evolve independently but simultaneously in order for the organ to function. It
is beyond comprehension to think that these organs just spontaneously
happened.Though it isn’t nearly as complex as the inner ear,
it is obvious that Stonehenge was a human creation (i.e. intelligent design),
and not some strange geological quirk. If Stonehenge was actually created by
somebody, why is it so hard to accept intelligent design when studying the
Cambrian explosion, DNA, or the development of complex organs and systems?
As a teacher, my first response was shock at the headline then I asked myself,
"Was this during the Accelerated Reading time and was the Bible in his
reading range?" Accelerated Reading time is very closely monitored and only
certain books at certain levels can be read depending on the student. If the
child wants to read a Bible for AR, then he and his parents should look at the
list and comply.On the other hand, if the teacher was quoted
correctly, the issue was not whether the book was on the list but rather that
the book was religious. This is totally not correct. Before judging this teacher
too harshly, I can say from personal experience that teachers often feel they
are walking a tightrope of political correctness. I believe this was a knee jerk
response by an inexperienced teacher. She should have found out the policy
before taking action.
@ greatbam22Read the Miami Herald's coverage of the story on
May 5th and 6th. The child claims this teacher prevented him from reading his
Bible during free periods. The school disputes this, stating that these
occurrences took place during an Accelerated Reader Program (ARP) period. The
child's Bible is not a part of this program. However, he is free to read
it during free periods.The Liberty Institute demanded a public
apology from the school in exchange for not filing a lawsuit. The school
complied and reiterated its policy that children are allowed to read personal
religious materials during their free periods. Liberty Institute then saw fit
to demand that the child also be allowed to read his Bible in the ARP.The Herald echoes what I found in my initial research - that Liberty Institute
has a reputation for making unsubstantiated claims. So I think my skepticism
about this story is justified. They've cried wolf too many times and shown
too little regard for the truth to take them at their word now.
There is still lot of confusion about what is allowed a far as religion in
school and yes some teachers over react as this one has for whatever reason.But as a Pagan I have kept up with the court decisions and it is plain
that as long as a public school is not pushing any religion, each student
retains the right to read their own religious text during their free time. Just
as a student my quietly pray at any time in school. That includes a Wiccan
reading her Wiccan books or a Christian reading the Bible.There was
a court case about a Texas public school where a teacher took away a
student's Bible the case was taken on by the ACLU and of course won. There
was absolutely no question about the legal right of the student to have her
Bible at school.So contrary to some wild claims God is still very
much in school as a private right of every student. And please tae a look around
the world what real religious persecution is where you might be beaten, killed,
or sent to jail for practicing your religion.
An isolated case does not religious persecution make.
Was the teacher correct to tell the kid not to read his bible on his free time?
Of course not. It was a bone-headed thing to say.Did the school
district immediately (this happened 10 days ago) issue a statement indicating
that what the teacher said was wrong? Yes.Did the district attempt
to defend the teacher? Nope.Is there any school district policy to
support the teacher? None.The teacher was wrong. Stupid, in fact.
The district took timely, appropriate steps to remedy the error. Let the system
work.The level of outrage is wildly disproportionate to the offense.
Lets be real, with several hundreds of thousands of teachers in this county, you
will come across a few bad apples. Sounds like the bad apples in this school
district have exposed themselves. As Christopher Blackwell states above, there
is no mass conspiracy going on here, just an isolated case of stupidity.
I really do wonder about the IQ of some of these teachers. Scary!
Heck, I'd be thrilled that my kid was reading anything
The teacher blew it. The school district blew it. The parent seems to have
gone for news exposure, instead of resolution.
Bravo to Mr. Giovanni for standing up to this misguided and bigoted teacher.
There should be no place in America for teachers who discriminate against
students who want to exercise their freedom of religion!
I agree that there seems to be more to this story than what we read here.
Attacks on religious liberty are abhorrent, but so is it abhorrent when people
and groups like the Liberty Institute manufacture supposed attacks.
“This is the most shocking piece of evidence I’ve seen in the 12
years of religious liberty work that I’ve been doing", says Hiram
Sasser.The teacher told the kid he couldn't read the book. She
didn't beat him, publicly humiliate him, mock him in front of other kids,
whatever. And this is the "most shocking" thing that Sasser has seen in
12 years? Is he serious?You might compare this "treatment"
by the teacher to the treatment frequently given to gay teenagers, by faculty
and students. Religiously believing faculty and students. Then decide which is
@Red"Also, Can the teachers union self regulate? I'm calling all
the teachers in America out.Clean up your own problems. Kick these
guys out of your ranks!"Pretty sure you all would be throwing a
fit if a teacher made anti-same-sex marriage remarks and got fired...
@Reasonable Man" although many in the scientific community argue that
evolution is science, it is not. It is a theory into which all findings "'The formal scientific definition of "theory" is quite
different from the everyday meaning of the word. It refers to a comprehensive
explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of
evidence.' - US National Academy of Sciences
I would describe myself as a liberal, very liberal even. I'm also an
atheist and a teacher. But I simply cannot imagine telling a student not to read
their holy book in the situation this student was in. I don't know what
this teacher was thinking but what she did was clearly wrong. I've been
through a few training sessions focused on religion and her actions - if they
are as reported - went against everything I've been taught about these
situations. This should be one of those situations where the school, teacher,
and district just say well we messed up and we are very sorry and then move on.
Sadly that rarely happens when mistakes are made, it's just human nature to
try cover things up or deny wrong doing.Now if the story isn't
accurate then obviously that will change things but this seems to have some
solid evidence behind it.
To address a different point now:@Reasonable ManAdding to
Frozen Fractals post about scientific theories you should know that the idea
that germs, bacteria, and viruses cause illness is, like evolution, only a
theory. The Germ Theory of disease to be exact. There is a law of gravity which
describes the attraction between two objects. However, why objects are attracted
to each other is known as the Theory of Gravity. Part of the Theory of
Relativity is mass-energy equivalency and there is some excellent proof that
this theory is accurate. When science talks about the Theory of Evolution it is
in this same context. There are mountains of evidence for evolution both macro
and micro. Scientific theories are also expected to make predictions and
evolution passes this test as well. Evolution has been seen in the lab. I'm not the first to say this but I invite all people who doubt
evolution to take drink a glass of Ebola, or walk off a 40 story building.
@ lonepeakstudent - Alpine, UT - "An isolated case does not religious
persecution make."You think this is an "isolated"
incident? Really?All you have to do is look around....
Did the child already do the book for AR credit? The bible is a book that is
read and reread. Reading time is spent on new books reports can later be written
on or tests can later be taken from. Was the child reading the book aloud?I would probably be mad as a parent. But this is not religious
persecution. Religious persecution is being executed because your father was
Muslim and you were raised Christian. Religious persecution is being lashed for
marrying a Christian. Religious persecution is being kidnapped and forced to
convert to another faith. Which conversion should not hold water with the
leadership of that faith. We squabble. Then we resolve. I say to the family turn
the other cheek. Why are demanding any action and simply forgive. Have the
parents read the bible? I would say if any other scripture were read more
parents in the class would demand to know why it's allowed? Something to
think about. Although it's probably the lawyers keeping this in the
limelight after the correction. Perhaps the boy should lend his copy of the
bible to the lawyers?