Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Term paper about 'God' earns student failing grade
Daily Press (Victorville CA) ^ | LEROY STANDISH

Posted on 06/28/2005 7:23:53 AM PDT by zlala

Term paper about 'God' earns student failing grade 'He told me you might as well write about the Easter Bunny. He wanted to censor the word God.'

VICTORVILLE — For using the "G" word 41 times in a term paper, Bethany Hauf was given an "F" by her Victor Valley Community College instructor.

Hauf's teacher approved her term paper topic — Religion and its Place within the Government — on one condition: Don't use the word God. Instead of complying with VVCC adjunct instructor Michael Shefchik's condition Hauf wrote a 10-page report for her English 101 class entitled "In God We Trust."

"He said it would offend others in class," Hauf, a 34-year-old mother of four, said. "I didn't realize God was taboo."

Hauf has received legal assistance from the American Center for Law and Justice. The ACLJ is a conservative Christian legal foundation founded by Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson, who is also the founder, chairman and face of the Christian Broadcasting Network.

"I don't loose my First Amendment rights when I walk into that college," Hauf said. She is demanding an apology from the teacher and that the paper be re-graded.

The college says the issue over Hauf's paper, written during the spring semester, has been satisfactorily resolved. "We settled this matter during the course of this class," said Judy Solis, chair of VVC's English department. "She was treated fairly and she knew what the options were."

Shefchik could not be reached for this report.

Hauf took her concerns about not being able to use "God" in her report to her teacher, then to the department chair. During a joint meeting between all three the options were laid out: Hand in the report with the "G" word or revise, edit or re-write the paper, Solis said.

"She continued to write her paper," Solis said. "She knew what the consequences were."

Hauf acknowledges she knew her teacher's condition for writing the paper, but argued it would be impossible to write about the affect of Christianity on the development of the United States without using the word God. "He told me you might as well write about the Easter Bunny," Hauf said. "He wanted to censor the word God."

Hauf first approached her teacher about writing her paper in an April 12 e-mail, according to a 12-page ACLJ paper sent to the college offering legal opinions in favor of Hauf.

Shefchik wrote her back an e-mail approving her topic choice, but at the same time cautioning her to be objective in her reporting. "I have one limiting factor," Shefchik wrote, according to the ACLJ. "No mention of big 'G' gods, i.e., one, true god argumentation."

The ACLJ said his actions are unconstitutional. "A student's constitutional free speech rights to express religious views are fully protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments," the ACLJ wrote.

In addition to an apology and a re-grading of Hauf's paper, the ACLJ demands Shefchik "receive some kind of training to sensitize him to the constitutional dimensions of his employment in a public educational institution, including his duty to respect constitutional freedoms of expression."

Hauf's husband supports his wife's position. "She has to pursue this. Not only has her civil rights been violated this is an English class she took, not a political science course," Fritz Hauf said. "She should be graded on the composition not the 'G' word."

Though getting an "F" on the research paper Hauf got a "C" for the class.

LeRoy Standish may be reached at 951-6277 or leroy_standish@link.freedom.com.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 1loose; 2lose; 3yourdoggetsloose; 4youloseyourdog; aclj; antichristian; antichristianbigotry; bigot; communitycollege; highereducation; lawsuit; vvcc
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-200 ... 351-361 next last
Another publik skool teacher that doesn't understand that a student can write about God in the classroom.
1 posted on 06/28/2005 7:23:53 AM PDT by zlala
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: zlala

Dear perfesser, what is religion without God?


2 posted on 06/28/2005 7:24:36 AM PDT by mgc1122
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: zlala

in buddha we trust

be ok on the democrat plantation!


3 posted on 06/28/2005 7:24:45 AM PDT by ken21 (it takes a village to steal your child + to steal your property! /s)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: zlala
I don't loose my First Amendment rights

The editor of this paper should be smacked around.

4 posted on 06/28/2005 7:24:50 AM PDT by AppyPappy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: martin_fierro; Tijeras_Slim; Constitution Day; TheBigB; MeekOneGOP

Maybe we should have helped out more with the turn page paper & diorama.


5 posted on 06/28/2005 7:25:34 AM PDT by Fierce Allegiance (This is not your granddaddy's America)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: zlala

The illiterati continue to push freedome FROM religion.

This extraction of God from public life is just as much a religion (cult?) as any other belief.


6 posted on 06/28/2005 7:26:39 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AppyPappy

Yeah, what a looser.


7 posted on 06/28/2005 7:27:05 AM PDT by Fierce Allegiance (This is not your granddaddy's America)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: zlala

Bethany Hauf was given an "F" by this evil monster, but she earned an "A+" in her ultimate report card.


8 posted on 06/28/2005 7:28:04 AM PDT by FormerACLUmember (Honoring Saint Jude's assistance every day.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: zlala
"He said it would offend others in class," Hauf, a 34-year-old mother of four, said. "I didn't realize God was taboo."

The people who want to remove the flag and God from American public life always use that "others might be offended" weasel excuse. They never have the guts to say that THEY are offended.

10 posted on 06/28/2005 7:28:44 AM PDT by Sam the Sham
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: zlala

God knows who instructor Michael Shefchik is, and where he lives.

big mistake!


11 posted on 06/28/2005 7:29:36 AM PDT by peacebaby (We are born naked, wet, and hungry. Then things get worse.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: zlala; All



How about if I write about bustin a #@$% in my ())^90 A$$ and shootin' my 9 at a drive by?


12 posted on 06/28/2005 7:29:58 AM PDT by WakeUpAndVote (Democrats, Socialists........................ Is there really a difference?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: zlala
she argued it would be impossible to write about the affect of Christianity on the development of the United States without using the word God.

Unfortunately common sense does not usually take hold with these weirdo teachers...
13 posted on 06/28/2005 7:30:55 AM PDT by PaulaB
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sam the Sham

I've written many papers in my education career. I never had them shared with others, even at the graduate level. This is truly a weasel excuse. To share papers violates the student's privacy.


14 posted on 06/28/2005 7:32:32 AM PDT by StrangerInParadise (Immutable Rules of Warfare: Pillage First, Then Burn. Do Not Attempt in Reverse Order.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: peacebaby

> God knows who instructor Michael Shefchik is, and where he lives.

Nice.


15 posted on 06/28/2005 7:32:43 AM PDT by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: zlala
11th Comandment:
Thou Shalt Squall Like A Baby When Exposed To The Name Of Thy Creator And Judge"
16 posted on 06/28/2005 7:33:07 AM PDT by xcamel (Deep Red, stuck in a "bleu" state.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: zlala
Hauf's teacher approved her term paper topic — Religion and its Place within the Government — on one condition: Don't use the word God. Instead of complying with VVCC adjunct instructor Michael Shefchik's condition Hauf wrote a 10-page report for her English 101 class entitled "In God We Trust."

"He said it would offend others in class,"

Teacher, where is this right not to be offended? Where did it come from? And how does it override the right of your student? Must she engage in self cenmsorship so not to offend? And why doesnt it bother you that you have offended the other half of the population?

17 posted on 06/28/2005 7:33:47 AM PDT by lowbridge
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: zlala

OK, so a student did something *other* than what she said she was going to do, and got a failing grade for her efforts. This is news?

Would it have been ok if I'd turned in a sci-fi story instead of a term paper on the Civil War?


18 posted on 06/28/2005 7:34:14 AM PDT by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: zlala

How would this offend anyone in class? When we wrote papers in my college everyone did their thing, turned it in. No one saw others' papers.


19 posted on 06/28/2005 7:34:23 AM PDT by plain talk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: zlala

Shefchik, a self-described atheist

Shefchik told Hauf that among the reasons for the low grade was that references to God could be offensive.


20 posted on 06/28/2005 7:34:36 AM PDT by kcvl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lowbridge

> And how does it override the right of your student?

Which right would that be?


21 posted on 06/28/2005 7:35:22 AM PDT by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: zlala

Since this is a public, community college, the teacher's actions are illegal.

It is well-known that a student has the right to discuss religion in papers without censorship.

Of course, the student has to follow the course guidelines, but this teacher's demand that she censor her word choice is so blatantly illegal it is not even debatable.

Here is the adjunct instructor's address: shefchikm@vvc.edu


22 posted on 06/28/2005 7:35:22 AM PDT by rwfromkansas (http://www.xanga.com/home.aspx?user=rwfromkansas)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AppyPappy

bttt


23 posted on 06/28/2005 7:35:54 AM PDT by BenLurkin (O beautiful for patriot dream - that sees beyond the years)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: zlala

This whole thing sounds very odd. I can't understand the logic of such a requirement. If her paper essentially took a proselytizing tone (i.e. "God must have a place in government because there is only one God and he is the true God of all, regardless of what other religions say, and that attitude should be required in government") then I can see why the paper might have been graded with an F.

But simply making objective use of the word "God"? I can't understand any objection that would be reasonable.


24 posted on 06/28/2005 7:36:29 AM PDT by SpringheelJack
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: orionblamblam

sci-fi paper rather than Civil War paper as requested?

Yes, you're right. But, again, it's hard to write about religion and not use the word "God."


25 posted on 06/28/2005 7:36:31 AM PDT by peacebaby (We are born naked, wet, and hungry. Then things get worse.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: zlala
community college adjunct instructor

LOL! IQ: 88. Education: BA in Education from University of Massachusetts, Eastern Montana State, or other leading light of liberal illiteracy. Politics: thinks Ted Kennedy is a conservative. Career prospects: adjunct instructor at community college. Marital Status: Single, has lots of socks. Religion: "That's for the stupid, unwashed masses." Military experience: Helped burn ROTC building in 1972.

26 posted on 06/28/2005 7:36:49 AM PDT by pabianice
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: orionblamblam

"Would it have been ok if I'd turned in a sci-fi story instead of a term paper on the Civil War?"

Apples and oranges. You are showing a bias. Try it this way: Do a paper on the Civil War, but don't mention Lincoln, or Davis.


27 posted on 06/28/2005 7:37:16 AM PDT by brownsfan (Post No Bills)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: zlala

where is her creativity? this was a writing class wasn't it?


Almighty, Supreme Being, Creater, Father, Holy One, Deity, ...

many of our founding fathers used words other than "God", jewish people hyphenate it out of reverence (G-d).

i'm not disagreeing that the professer is off his rocker but that is a given going into college today. she could have met the technical requirement and kept the spirit of what she wanted to say.

i'll admit not knowing the whole story though, maybe she only used the word God in quotes from sources -- if that is the case then she should probably fight it.


28 posted on 06/28/2005 7:37:19 AM PDT by kpp_kpp
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: xcamel

LOL good one


29 posted on 06/28/2005 7:37:40 AM PDT by PaulaB
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: orionblamblam

It is blatantly illegal to censor the word God in a paper from a publicly-supported community college.

Unlike a private college, her First Amendment rights apply.


30 posted on 06/28/2005 7:37:48 AM PDT by rwfromkansas (http://www.xanga.com/home.aspx?user=rwfromkansas)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: orionblamblam

elementary thinking on God and Christianity. Nothing complica†´d about it. 8+)


31 posted on 06/28/2005 7:37:50 AM PDT by peacebaby (We are born naked, wet, and hungry. Then things get worse.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: zlala

An "adjunct instructor" in a community college is at the bottom of the feeding chain. However, this guy has to reach up to touch bottom.


32 posted on 06/28/2005 7:38:27 AM PDT by Malesherbes
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #33 Removed by Moderator

To: zlala

In other news, the teacher demanded that a paper about the American revolution not mention Washington, and that a paper about the Civil War not mention Lincoln, Grant, Lee, Davis or Sherman.


34 posted on 06/28/2005 7:39:41 AM PDT by Larry Lucido
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kpp_kpp

The professor's requirement is illegal.

She stood her ground and did what was within her rights.

This was a term paper. Not much room for elaborate creativity in a research paper.


35 posted on 06/28/2005 7:39:51 AM PDT by rwfromkansas (http://www.xanga.com/home.aspx?user=rwfromkansas)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: zlala

I thought academia was all about controversy and forcing people to think "out of the box".

""He said it would offend others in class,""


36 posted on 06/28/2005 7:40:11 AM PDT by ruiner
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: zlala

Is it possible that the paper doesn't address the question? Might it also be possible that the paper just plain sucks? It's a little hard to sympathize with a grade-grubber when we don't even know what the question was for the term paper and we can't see the paper itself.


37 posted on 06/28/2005 7:40:17 AM PDT by Natty Boh
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: peacebaby; brownsfan

Ahem:
"Hauf's teacher approved her term paper topic — Religion and its Place within the Government — on one condition: Don't use the word God. Instead of complying with VVCC adjunct instructor Michael Shefchik's condition Hauf wrote a 10-page report for her English 101 class entitled "In God We Trust.""


38 posted on 06/28/2005 7:41:26 AM PDT by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: lowbridge
Must she engage in self censorship so not to offend?

Only if your a Christian it seems!!
39 posted on 06/28/2005 7:41:52 AM PDT by PaulaB
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: orionblamblam

It's more like you having to write a paper on the Civil War and never use the words "South", "Confederacy", "Confederate", etc.


40 posted on 06/28/2005 7:41:54 AM PDT by MortMan (Mostly Harmless)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: SpringheelJack

I can't understand the logic of such a requirement.



Simple. Without God, there is no justification for religion. Thus, the instructor was forcing his students to write that religion is unjustifiable.

Pretty transparent to me.


41 posted on 06/28/2005 7:42:00 AM PDT by Atlas Sneezed
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: orionblamblam

Again, that one condition is AGAINST THE LAW.


42 posted on 06/28/2005 7:42:37 AM PDT by rwfromkansas (http://www.xanga.com/home.aspx?user=rwfromkansas)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: orionblamblam
OK, so a student did something *other* than what she said she was going to do, and got a failing grade for her efforts.

I will agree that the time to question this would have been at the initial discussion. What I question is: Where is the thought process of thinking a student can write a paper about God w/out writing about God.

As far as this being news...it's a cultural thang....

43 posted on 06/28/2005 7:43:07 AM PDT by zlala (I used to have a handle on life but it broke.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: xcamel

I'm astonished that this took place in California.


44 posted on 06/28/2005 7:43:10 AM PDT by travlnmn41
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: rwfromkansas; orionblamblam

It is blatantly illegal to censor the word God in a paper from a publicly-supported community college.

Unlike a private college, her First Amendment rights apply.

That's correct, but her paper wasn't "censored." She just got an F for not following instructions (stupid as those instructions may have been). She wasn't prevented from writing it; in fact she was expressly given the option of keeping it as it was and getting a bad grade as a result.

45 posted on 06/28/2005 7:43:28 AM PDT by TheGhostOfTomPaine
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: rwfromkansas

> her First Amendment rights apply

Do they? Hmm. I suggest you take a look at any of the Ten Commandment threads: you'll find LOTS of people who will happily point out to you that the first Amendment says that *Congress* is barred from censoring this or that... not state court houses and the like. The first amendment does not mention community colleges.


46 posted on 06/28/2005 7:43:52 AM PDT by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: orionblamblam

I e-mailed the guy. This is his response.

Subject: Re: Why? (I Will Be Gone Until Fall)

I am having recreation. I hope you are the same. I will be gone until the end of August.

Happy Trails,

Michael Shefchik


47 posted on 06/28/2005 7:44:42 AM PDT by cdga5for4
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: orionblamblam

Figures you'd show up here to take the other side.


48 posted on 06/28/2005 7:44:46 AM PDT by Sam's Army (I declare the cowbell gag officially over)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: zlala

> Where is the thought process of thinking a student can write a paper about God w/out writing about God.


Non sequitur. The paper topic was about *religion* and government, not *God* and government.


49 posted on 06/28/2005 7:45:18 AM PDT by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: kpp_kpp
where is her creativity?

Astute point.

50 posted on 06/28/2005 7:45:22 AM PDT by zlala (I used to have a handle on life but it broke.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-200 ... 351-361 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson