It’s a question about common sense. When a high school has a gay and lesbian group and also has a Bible study group, why is it that the teacher involved with the Bible study group is the one coming under fire? But that’s exactly what’s happening at one school, where the teacher is being told to remove religious items from her classroom and not participate in the Bible study meetings or activities.
Yes, this story is for real, and it’s just another example of how anything goes in today’s high schools except Christianity, of course. As reported by WIVB Channel 4 in New York, a Cheektowaga high school science teacher is now fighting back with her own law suit.
Joelle Silver, a teacher at the school for seven years, says she received a “counseling letter” to remove the items from her classroom. The suit was filed against the district, President of the Board of Education Brian J. Gould, and Superintendent of Schools Dennis Kane.
The complaint filed by the AFLC claims other teachers and faculty at the school were not required to remove items of personal or religious speech. One of the arguments the document makes is in reference to a social worker at the school, who the complaint alleges, by contrast, is allowed to promote a “gay rights agenda.”
According to the report, all of this started when one student… ONE… complained. And, of course, the student didn’t go through the school system. Instead the student contacted the Freedom from Religion group, who is always willing to threaten legal action all in the effort to force God completely out of society.
The American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) has come to the aid of the teacher, Joelle Silver.
Robert Muise, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, commented, “This is one of the most egregious examples of religious hostility I have witnessed in a public school. Ms. Silver does not cease being a Christian nor does she shed her constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate.”
According to the “counseling letter,” which is now a permanent part of Silver’s employment file, failure to follow any of the directions would lead to “serious disciplinary consequences, including the termination of [her] employment.”
The School District’s hostility toward Silver’s Christian faith was blatant, particularly in light of the fact that the School District permits other teachers and administrators to display in their classrooms and offices various messages and other items that reflect their personal viewpoints on a wide range of subject matter. For example, a social worker at the very same High School displays inside and outside of her office various messages that promote the “gay rights” agenda, including LGBT-themed posters and advertisements from activist organizations.
Here is a copy of the letter received by Joelle Silver.
But it’s not just the religious items. As the WIVB report notes, the school is even coming down on Silver’s participation in the school’s Bible study group.
The complaint filed against the district also says Silver was told not to participate in the Bible Study Club’s meetings or activities, so it could not be interpreted as being promoted by her or the district. The letter states Silver had a ‘prayer box’ in the classroom that was being used by the club throughout the school day and instructed her to remove it. The complaint alleges that, by contrast, the school’s Gay Straight Alliance is allowed to have students participate in club activities during the school day.
When will it all end? This overt attack on Christianity is over the top, especially when one considers what other teachers can do, say, or promote at the same school.