Persecuting Christians, even little children, is once again cool!
They’re coming for you next: A second-grader at North Hill Elementary School in Des Moines, Washington, has been regularly harassed and punished by the teachers and administrators because she likes to talk about her Christian religion to her playmates.
The harassment has included searching her backpack each morning to confiscate any Christian materials before she entered school. The punishment included sending her to the principal’s office ten different times since January 1st for daring to mention the Bible and her Christian beliefs to others. From the press release of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which is threatening to sue the school and its district if this Soviet-type censorious behavior does not stop:
Once the parents contacted the ACLJ, we provided a letter [to the Highline School District that runs the school] explaining the First Amendment protections and their application to students in public school, fully expecting the principal would immediately apologize for violating this child’s rights. Instead, the principal doubled down and stated that it is school policy that students cannot distribute materials that “Cause a disruption or interfere with school activities.”
This, in fact, is not the case. The Highline School District has a Freedom of Expression policy that only prohibits the distribution of written materials that cause a disruption of school activities “in an assembly or classroom setting” – not outside on the playground.
Furthermore, it is well-settled Supreme Court precedent that students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Community Sch. Dist. (1969). Students are free to express their religious views while at school, which includes sharing Bibles, Christian tracts, and crosses. According to the Court in Tinker, concern that a substantial disruption could occur as a result of permitting students to exercise their First Amendment rights is an insufficient reason to restrict student speech. [emphasis mine]
Apparently, what school officials and teachers did not like is this girl talking to others about religion. Yuch! We can’t have the minds of other children poisoned by such stuff! It will take time away from convincing them that boys are girls and girls are boys!
The result? This little child was treated like a Christian in Imperial Rome, her religious material seen as illegal contraband and her freedom to speak a criminal offense. Will school officials send her to the Colosseum to be eaten by lions? Maybe she and her parents need to organize secret meetings in caves to avoid persecution.
The ACLJ demanded a response by the school district by March 14th — correcting its actions — or it would take further legal action. A review of the ACLJ website shows no update as yet, either from the school district or the ACLJ.
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