Author Topic: First-grade teacher seizes Christian kid’s candy canes, says ‘Jesus is not allowed in school’  (Read 366 times)

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Offline Rapunzel

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http://dailycaller.com/2014/01/08/first-grade-teacher-seizes-christian-kids-candy-canes-says-jesus-is-not-allowed-in-school/

First-grade teacher seizes Christian kid’s candy canes, says ‘Jesus is not allowed in school’

Posted By Eric Owens On 6:33 AM 01/08/2014


A first-grade teacher at a public elementary school in Southern California allegedly snatched a bunch of candy canes bearing a brief religious message from a first-grade boy. She told the poor kid “Jesus is not allowed in school” and then — right in front of his little six-year-old eyes — ripped the religious messages from each candy cane and dumped them in a trashcan.

The boy’s name is Isaiah Martinez. He attends Merced Elementary School in the Los Angeles suburb of West Covina.

The first-grade teacher accused of religious bullying is Valerie Lu. One of the candy canes was for her. The rest were for Martinez’s classmates.

Lu conferred with school principal Gordon Pfitzer before somehow deciding that partially destroying a kid’s religious candy canes in front of him would be an intelligent, decent thing for a human being to do.

The candy canes were for a holiday party—the kind virtually every grade-school kid in America experiences just before winter break. Each candy cane came attached with a message about how the Christmas-associated peppermint treat was originally a symbol of the life of Jesus Christ.

Martinez’s older sister, Alexandra Cantu, helped the boy put the candy canes and the messages together. She told CBS Los Angeles that her little brother was pretty upset about what happened.

“He was like, ‘Yeah, but my teacher took the letters off and threw them in the trash. And I had to give it to them without the letters,’” Cantu explained.

School officials eventually let Martinez hand out full versions of his religious-themed candy canes—off campus, at the end of the day on the last day of school, while all the kids were scurrying home for break.

On Monday, Robert H. Tyler, an attorney with a California-based nonprofit law firm called Faith & Freedom, released a demand letter on behalf of Martinez. Tyler called the actions of the teacher, the principal and the school district “hostile and intimidating.”

In a statement, Tyler noted that religious bullying by teachers and administrators is a big and burgeoning problem.

“The pendulum has swung so far in the opposite direction that public schools are becoming a place of hostility toward Christian and other religiously-based worldviews,” the statement said.

In the lengthy demand letter, Tyler explains that other students in Isaiah’s class handed out Christmas gifts to classmates with no problems. The packaging on those gifts included imagery such as Santa Claus, penguins with Santa hats and Christmas trees.

He also explains basic First Amendment law as it applies to kids expressing themselves in school. He quotes a 2007 Supreme Court case: “Student expression may not be suppressed unless school officials reasonably conclude that it will ‘materially and substantially disrupt the work and discipline of the school.”

It’s not clear how the distribution of candy canes would materially and substantially disrupt a school holiday party.

Tyler’s letter also observes that California law accords students even broader speech protections than the protections afforded under the federal First Amendment.

The letter demands a new school district-wide policy prohibiting teachers and school officials from treating religious students unequally, prejudicially or with hostility. It also seeks a written apology.

Tyler additionally asks the West Covina Unified School District to provide teachers and school officials with remedial First Amendment training “particularly as it relates to the rights of students to express themselves with religious viewpoints.”

Faith & Freedom has set a Jan. 13 deadline for the West Covina school district to comply with its demand letter.

On Monday, reports CBS Los Angeles, school district superintendent superintendent Debra Kaplan released a statement saying: “At the present time, we do not have any reason to believe that the teacher or any other district employee had any intention other than to maintain an appropriate degree of religious neutrality in the classroom and to communicate this to the child in an age-appropriate manner.”
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Offline Oceander

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Tyler additionally asks the West Covina Unified School District to provide teachers and school officials with remedial First Amendment training “particularly as it relates to the rights of students to express themselves with religious viewpoints.”

How about remedial training on some other aspects of the Constitution as well.

Online DCPatriot

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Sometimes I wish my name was Walter Mitty. 

I'd fix Ms. Lu real good!     :smokin:
"It aint what you don't know that kills you.  It's what you know that aint so!" ...Theodore Sturgeon

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Offline Oceander

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Sometimes I wish my name was Walter Mitty. 

I'd fix Ms. Lu real good!     :smokin:

We could arrange for that, Mr. Mitty.

Online truth_seeker

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From the standpoint of educators, perhaps religious neutrality is the way for them to reserve the school for teaching the 3 Rs.

Let the kids do their religious things, during non-school time, and not on campus.

The area near West Covina has a lot of Asians, and many of them are Buddhists (their ancestors built the railroads across the West).

 

Offline happyg

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How do candy canes relate to religion? Did they exist during Jesus' time on earth? /s

Offline alicewonders

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If parents are as sick of this kind of stuff as I am - they should take their children out of public schools.  When they lose enough money, maybe things will change.
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Offline musiclady

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From the standpoint of educators, perhaps religious neutrality is the way for them to reserve the school for teaching the 3 Rs.

Let the kids do their religious things, during non-school time, and not on campus.

The area near West Covina has a lot of Asians, and many of them are Buddhists (their ancestors built the railroads across the West).

I'll bet Asian kids like candy canes too.

And btw............this teacher is not one bit interested in "religious neutrality."  Her faith kicked in hard when she tossed that poor kid's candy canes in the trash.

This has NOTHING to do with "time" to teach the three R's.

Young leftist teachers do that about as well as they practice religious "neutrality."
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Online DCPatriot

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If parents are as sick of this kind of stuff as I am - they should take their children out of public schools.  When they lose enough money, maybe things will change.

As a practical matter however, most cannot send their children to Parochial schools...let alone private schools. 

Furthermore, here in Maryland, the real estate taxes collected supposedly fund the education.   Oh wait....maybe it's the Maryland Lottery.  [/s]

Bottom line, there's no effective way other than home-schooling. 

This teacher was filled with pi$$ and vinegar to show the school administration that "I've got this!".  She tore the religious letters from the cellophane wrapping.

For somebody that grew up with a Catholic education by nuns and priests....it's anathema to me.

But I get it......
"It aint what you don't know that kills you.  It's what you know that aint so!" ...Theodore Sturgeon

"I am responsible for what I say.  I am not responsible for what your understand."  ...me

Offline alicewonders

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As a practical matter however, most cannot send their children to Parochial schools...let alone private schools. 

Furthermore, here in Maryland, the real estate taxes collected supposedly fund the education.   Oh wait....maybe it's the Maryland Lottery.  [/s]

Bottom line, there's no effective way other than home-schooling. 

This teacher was filled with pi$$ and vinegar to show the school administration that "I've got this!".  She tore the religious letters from the cellophane wrapping.

For somebody that grew up with a Catholic education by nuns and priests....it's anathema to me.

But I get it......

I would absolutely homeschool nowadays.  I know several homeschooled children and the education they received was superior to that of public schools.  I realize that, especially for a single parent, it might not be feasible to do - but in a two-income household, you gotta decide what your priority is.
Don't tread on me.   8888madkitty

We told you Trump would win - bigly!

Offline Rapunzel

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I would absolutely homeschool nowadays.  I know several homeschooled children and the education they received was superior to that of public schools.  I realize that, especially for a single parent, it might not be feasible to do - but in a two-income household, you gotta decide what your priority is.


My sister home-schooled her two youngest.  They're poster kids for home schooling.  BTW statistically home-schooled kids score higher on SATs, too.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline mountaineer

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My home-schooled niece has completed her first semester at college (at age 17) with a 3.0 GPA.  ^-^
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