Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » LESS HERE THAN MEETS THE EYE?

    Filed at 6:05 am under by dcobranchi

    This Reuters story (headlined on *shudder* Drudge) has folks over at the Motley Fool homeschooling board all riled up:

    A California teacher has been barred by his school from giving students documents from American history that refer to God — including the Declaration of Independence.

    Steven Williams, a fifth-grade teacher at Stevens Creek School in the San Francisco Bay area suburb of Cupertino, sued for discrimination on Monday, claiming he had been singled out for censorship by principal Patricia Vidmar because he is a Christian.

    “It’s a fact of American history that our founders were religious men, and to hide this fact from young fifth-graders in the name of political correctness is outrageous and shameful,” said Williams’ attorney, Terry Thompson.

    Yeah– based on only the lede is sure sounds like PC run amok. But it doesn’t hang together. We only get the teacher’s viewpoint from Reuters, but it “feels” like the teacher may have been accused of using his classroom “pulpit” to proselytize.

    UPDATE: Others have been thinking along the same lines.

    FINAL UPDATE: The Smoking Gun has a copy of the lawsuit. It sure sounds like the teacher was “pushing” Christianity on the kids.

    10 Responses to “LESS HERE THAN MEETS THE EYE?”

    Comment by
    November 25th, 2004
    at 10:26 am

    That’s right – the public schools are only allowed to push secular humanism.

    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    November 25th, 2004
    at 10:32 am

    Yeah– that Seaparation of Church and State is highly over-rated.

    Comment by
    November 26th, 2004
    at 4:58 am

    Just as we don’t allow guns or alcohol or drugs in public schools, blatant religious proselytizing should also be forbidden. Why? I don’t know about you, but I don’t want our public schools (attended by children from all types of religious backgrounds) turned into anything even remotely looking like a mono-religious, al Qaeda-run madrassas.

    So, only some people advocating a policy detrimental to our democracy would be trying to ram their religious views down the throats of the public school children in this country. Hey, that’s what the privately-financed religious schools are supposed to do.

    I pray to God everyday that the religio-fascists in our country will see the light, before they do anymore damage to our freedom-loving society. Oh wait, I forgot, they’re insane. Just as insane as the religio-fascist monopolists 2,000 years ago who killed Jesus Christ because he wasn’t welcome in their religious monopoly.

    Comment by
    Dee Dee
    November 30th, 2004
    at 7:20 pm

    I was distressed to see this story linked in the December Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Gazette.

    Comment by
    Eric Holcombe
    December 1st, 2004
    at 10:20 am

    Regardless of the teacher’s beliefs, isn’t it just a little distressing that this school district has banned the Declaration of Independence from being taught in school?

    Maybe if he wore a “gay and proud of it” T-shirt while teaching…

    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    December 1st, 2004
    at 10:31 am

    Why do you assume that the DoI has been banned? His lawsuit claims only that he had to get pre-approval of his handouts. He was excerpting the DoI. Say he presented it this way—

    The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

    When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s GOD entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    Still ok?

    Comment by
    December 1st, 2004
    at 4:33 pm

    “Why do you assume that the DoI has been banned?”

    First line of the linked article. “A California teacher has been barred by his school from giving students documents from American history that refer to God — including the Declaration of Independence”

    It doesn’t say “reading” or “emphasizing the Christian aspects”, it says giving – as in a handout. I find it strange that it is just fine today to present the founders as evil, capitalist land speculators that beat their slaves daily, but certain aspects of history are ignored. I.e., Thanksgiving is now a banquet held by the Pilgrims to thank Squanto for saving their butts.

    How much history has to be erased in the name of diversity? The founding fathers weren’t diverse by today’s standards. Why pretend they were?

    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    December 1st, 2004
    at 5:44 pm

    Well, that Reuters story is basically a press release for the lawsuit. I wouldn’t read too much into it. Read the complaint at the Smoking Gun. It does not state that the DoI has been banned.

    Comment by
    Eric Holcombe
    December 6th, 2004
    at 1:20 pm

    Okay. They only banned the parts they don’t like.
    Is this a sliding scale for San Franscisco? Can we just delete the Christian parts or should it be left open for future debate?

    I think it’s going to be tough to justify allowing this teacher to teach about the origination of various religious holidays, but not Easter; to allow unobserved, unapproved religious reference supplements by other instructors, but not him.

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    c u l t u r e k i t c h e n
    November 25th, 2004
    at 5:35 pm

    Declaration of Independence Banned at California School or Red-baiting Liberals on Thanksgiving Day

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