California School District Has History of Violating Students’ Religious Rights

If you were a school teacher who didn’t want any of your students to mention the real reason for Christmas, why would you give them an assignment to bring something from home that represented a family Christmas tradition?

Last December, a first grade teacher in Temecula, California gave her first graders that assignment.  One girl brought a Star of Bethlehem ornament that tops her family’s Christmas tree.  When it was the girl’s turn to share, the teacher stopped her and screamed at her to go take her seat.  The teacher then told the class that the girl was not allowed to mention the Bible or share any Bible verses and it turned out that the girl was the only one prevented from finishing her one minute report.  The principal told the parents of the girl that the Temecula Valley Unified School District has strict rules against sharing one’s religious faith.  So what was the teaching thinking would happen when she gave the assignment?

Last October, a student at another school in the same district was ridiculed in front of the rest of the class because of how they did an assignment.  A middle school teacher assigned the students to select and read a piece of nonfiction literature.  The student in question chose to read a selection from the Bible.  After that incident attorneys with Advocates for Faith and Freedom sent a letter to the school district urging them to educate themselves on the First Amendment rights and freedoms of students.

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