Skip to comments.Attorney: Teacher Seized Christmas Candy Canes, Told Student ‘Jesus Is Not Allowed In School’
Posted on 01/06/2014 1:09:57 PM PST by BenLurkin
WEST COVINA (CBSLA.com) Religious freedom advocates are calling on the West Covina Unified School District to adopt policy changes and issue a formal apology after an alleged incident involving bullying against a Christian student.
Advocates for Faith & Freedom, an Irvine-based nonprofit law firm, issued a letter Monday on behalf of Isaiah Martinez, a first grader at Merced Elementary School who took traditional candy canes as Christmas gifts for his teacher, Valerie Lu, and classmates on Dec. 13, 2013, according to attorney Robert Tyler.
Each candy cane came with a message attached that recited the history of the candy cane, including references to the candy as a symbol of Jesus Christ, according to the letter (PDF) dated Jan. 6.
Attorneys say when Martinez brought the candy canes to class, Lu took possession of the candy canes, and after conferring with school principal Gordon Pfitzer, told Martinez that Jesus is not allowed in school.
Lu at the apparent direction of Pfitzer then ripped the candy cane message from each candy cane, threw the messages in the trash, and returned the candy canes back to Martinez for delivery to his classmates, according to attorneys.
In a statement, Tyler said the actions of the school district were hostile and intimidating, and called on officials to adopt an official policy that expressly prohibits school officials including teachers from adopting any action or from engaging in any expression that can reasonably be viewed by a religiously affiliated student as disapproval of the students religion or hostile toward the students religion.
Advocates for Faith & Freedom has experienced a surge in phone calls from students and their parents across the country who are victims of religiously motivated bullying; not bullying by other students, but bullying by teachers and school officials, said Tyler. 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.
In addition to policy changes, Tyler also called for the West Covina Unified School District to implement training for teachers and other school officials on the First Amendment, particularly as it relates to the rights of students to express themselves with religious viewpoints.
There was no immediate reaction to the letter from school district officials.
A statement on the school districts website (PDF) states school programs and activities shall be free from discrimination, including harassment, with respect to a students actual or perceived sex, ethnic group identification, race, national origin, religion and other characteristics.
Welcome to Communism! They will be teaching them to goose step and how to hate this country. Once again, we need to stop the NEA.
Candy Canes are ....errr ....well candy canes, no more religious than frosty or Rudolph....
the teacher’s use of the word ‘Jesus’, should get her suspended.....
I’m glad to see that the names of the teacher and principal are published.
If the kid had brought in Korans, the teachers & staff would have lined up every student to receive one.
21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
33 But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father who is in Heaven.
There is an active effort to eliminate Christianity.
Candy canes don’t have anything to do with Christianity, if I recall. Those are all tall tales, but harmless.
Yes, male HS student: “I perceive that I am a female today. Think I’ll wander around the girls locker room.”
who would want Valerie Lu as their child’s teacher?
sure, why not!
The teacher and principal need to be asked if Muhamed is allowed in school.
Of course the natural question is.... What if it had been a muslim student with messages about his religion?
It would have been perfectly acceptable and the teacher would not dream of infringing on his freedom of religion, less the muslim community would have been in an uproar, the teacher would be fired and the school hit with a discrimination lawsuit.
War on Christians in America continues...
Well, on the other hand, you have to consider the possibility that a first grade boy could be confused for the United States Congress and that a candy cane with a message might well be construed to be a law establishing a state religion. There is no doubt the boy (Congress) was passing a candy cane (law), and that is not allowed.
The parent never should have put this poor little kid through this
Found this on the internet (note, I hate snopes):
But I have seen various iterations of this message of the candy cane and believe it to be completely hokey and opportunistic “preaching” or “Christian outreach” and this little kid’s parent ought to be ashamed for sending such a thing to a public school. S/he would have to be a complete dolt not to realize it was going to cause a problem and to use his/her child in such a fashion is manipulative and abusive.
The teacher and the school acted foolishly too, heaping further humiliation and abuse on this poor kid.
All the adults acted abominably.
I think this was an overreaction, BUT, the parent of this child set him up. If he was simply passing out candy canes, even red and white ones, that should have passed ‘muster’. These candy canes were wrapped showing printed copy that referred to the Bible. Of course, to me, no problem, but to the Poorly Trained-but Fully Indoctrinated-Teacher Product of today, that changes a candy share into prosletyzing in one instant. Blinking Red Lights!! For the time being, don’t set you little kids up for a shouted NO! from a teacher. That ruins a kids day.
They should also publish their phone number and email address. These people need to be publicly outed and ridiculed into submission.
Willing to be they’ve got a room decked out with prayer rugs & Korans & foot washing stations, halal food available in the cafeteria, and history books with seven chapters about how great is Islam. No evidence or mention of Christianity allowed, though.
> Candy Canes are ....errr ....well candy canes, no more religious than frosty or Rudolph....
Correct. Candy canes were originally sold as a tummy ache remedy for children (they contained peppermint, a mild child safe analgesic). It wasn’t until many years later that the red stripe was added and it became a Christmas candy.