West Covina public school allegedly bans Jesus

Isaiah Martinez is just a little kid. But he's quickly learning about what is and what is not allowed in California public schools. KTLA reported:

“A religious liberty advocacy group has threatened legal action against the West Covina school district because a first-grade student was allegedly prohibited from distributing candy canes with attached Christian messages on campus.

Isaiah Martinez sought in December to hand out the red-and-white treats to his fellow students at Merced Elementary School, but a teacher threw the boy’s attached religious messages into the trash, telling him “Jesus is not allowed at school,” according to an attorney representing his family.

“The actions of the school district were hostile and intimidating to Isaiah,” stated a letter dated Monday and written to the West Covina Unified School District from a lawyer for the student.

Isaiah’s family is being represented by Robert Tyler, general counsel for Advocates for Faith & Freedom, a nonprofit Murrieta-based law firm that works on issues of religious liberty with a mission to protect America’s foundation on Judeo-Christian principles, according to the group’s website.

The boy’s First Amendment rights to free speech and protection from hostility toward religion were violated, and the family will “be forced to take legal action” if the school district does not respond by Jan. 13, Tyler said.

Superintendent Debra Kaplain replied in a statement:

“The District’s overriding concern was and is to honor and respect the beliefs of all students in matters of religion. To that end, the District strives to maintain neutrality in matters of religion, and to observe students’ rights of expression, in a manner that does not conflict with the rights of other students,” Kaplan said. “During the holiday season, and particularly when young elementary students are involved, this can require difficult balancing.”

Public schools nowadays commonly have courses on Islam. And some friends of mine, when at Edison High School in Huntington Beach a few years back, enacted ancient Egyptian rites as part of a course.

But — allegedly — such “balancing” does not include Jesus, even as the private expression of a six-year-old.

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Tags assigned to this article:
EducationFree SpeechJesusJohn Seiler

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