Skip to comments.Teacher's (Anti-Christian) Comments Lead To Complaint
Posted on 12/01/2007 7:38:47 AM PST by DogByte6RER
Teacher's comments lead to complaint
By: JENNIFER KABBANY - For The Californian
TEMECULA -- A Temecula Valley High School student has decided to opt for an independent study program rather than finish out the semester on campus because of her teacher's derogatory comments about Christians, the girl's attorney said Friday.
Attorney Bob Tyler said 17-year-old junior Brittney Cowles became very upset Thursday after her creative writing teacher allegedly called local Christian parents "crazy" and "prejudiced" for keeping their children home from school to protest a new state law that some parents contend promotes a homosexual agenda in public schools.
The teacher's alleged rant went on for about a half-hour, prompting Brittney to tears and causing her to leave the classroom, Tyler said.
Tyler faxed a demand letter to the Temecula Valley Unified School District on Friday morning asking for immediate sanctions against the teacher, stating Brittney felt intimated by the educator and distressed by what she said.
He also said the teacher's comments were extremely hostile toward Christians and their faith, and that they violated the federal establishment clause, which calls on public agencies to be secular and not advance or disapprove of any religion.
The end result of a meeting between Tyler, Brittney, her mother and Temecula Valley High School Principal Rani Goyal on Friday afternoon was that Brittney would finish the semester, which ends in January, through an independent study program, Tyler said.
He said it remains to be seen whether she will return to the high school, which she has attended since her freshman year.
The demand letter was addressed to Superintendent Carol Leighty, school board President Stewart Morris and Goyal. Leighty and Morris were at a daylong, out-of-town conference Friday and could not be reached for comment.
Goyal, in an e-mail on behalf of herself and the teacher, declined to comment.
"We were informed Ö at 9:35 this morning of the allegation and are in the early stages of the investigation into the comments made in the classroom," Goyal stated. "As this is in reference to a personnel matter, we have no comment."
In an interview Friday, Brittney said the incident has been very upsetting.
"Yesterday was a breaking point for me," she said.
Brittney, who has fibromyalgia, said she has drawn on her Christian faith for strength as she has tried to cope with the disease, and hearing her beliefs bashed was more than she could bear.
According to Brittney, her teacher called evangelical parents "crazy," "narrow-minded," "prejudiced," "promoters of hate" and "out of control."
Brittney claims that her teacher went on to say that if any of her students were involved in the protest, she would "get revenge in some way or another."
Brittney also contends her teacher said young Christians are being "brain-washed by overbearing parents who shove their beliefs down everyone's throats."
Apparently, the teacher's comments sparked a discussion among the other students in class, a mix of about 35 from all grade levels, many of whom voiced their support by reiterating their educator's points, Brittney said.
Brittney said she felt persecuted for her morals and beliefs, and that something inside her told her she had to do something. She said she finally raised her hand and asked to go outside, and the request was granted.
As she walked out, Brittney said her teacher asked her if she was offended, and she replied that she was. Asked how, Brittney said she didn't appreciate her religion being ridiculed, and burst into tears on her way out the door.
Brittney went to the nurse's office and was picked up by her mother a short time later. Her mother, Cynthia Tarpy, said she called her church's youth pastor because she wanted to find someone to counsel Brittney and help calm her down.
Their youth pastor ended up referring the two to Tyler, who runs a conservative public interest law firm in Murrieta and agreed to represent them free of charge.
Coincidentally, Tyler also filed a lawsuit in federal court earlier this week challenging the validity of the new law that had prompted the parent protest and subsequent classroom comments.
"This teacher went so far beyond the bounds that there is no excuse," Tyler said. "We want to see some action by the school district. We want to give the school district an opportunity to make things right, to decry and condemn this teacher's actions."
Tarpy said she is proud of her daughter.
"She has always been the squeaky wheel, the one who debates her teachers on evolution," she said. "I want her voice to be heard. She is a brave girl."
Showing favoritism towards a moral viewpoint is bigoted and violates the establishment clause of the constitution. Condemning a religion does not. Well, that’s liberal-think.
Also see related news story:
“Gay rights laws prompt boycott push - Two Temecula churches urge faithful to protest by keeping children home from school”
I wonder how boldly this “teacher” denounces Islam?
“According to Brittney, her teacher called evangelical parents “crazy,”
“narrow-minded,” “prejudiced,” “promoters of hate” and “out of control.””
Too bad the kid didn’t ask the teacher:
“Are you sure you aren’t talking about Christopher Hitchens,
Richard Dawkins, and their friends in the ACLU?”
In all honestly, if that were to happen, I would look the other way.
We all know that that would have happened had the teacher had said the same thing about islam.
WHAT’S the teacher’s NAME???? She should be NAMED???? WHY ISN”T SHE NAMED??
Disgusting! This teacher is a disgrace. The sooner the “Publik Skools” are put out of business, the better.
If you don’t agree with them, they try to make you an unperson.
I am glad this girl and her mother did what they did. Maybe more and more parents will start coming out against these idiots who take it upon themselves to spout their agendas to a trapped audience.
If the teacher made threatened grade retaliation, then the teacher needs sanctioning. But other than that, I think the reaction of the student is a bit extreme.
Breaking into tears over a contrary view is a bit immature for a 17 year old. Reacting with a demand letter at the first incident rather than trying to work things out seems out to me too. Perhaps the is more history than I got from the story. But the reaction in ths case seems more “liberal” than conservative.
I’d like to see what the response would be if this was a complaint about a Christian teacher in a public school speaking against homosexuality, liberalism and the like... You can be SURE that the name would be printed and his job would have been gone already..
I think it depends on what the teacher said. If the teacher really went on for half an hour, ranting and raving and calling Christians and parents bigoted, and threatened to give bad grades to any student who disagreed with her, then I think she’s too far over the top to be permitted to teach in a public school.
I don’t know what the lesson plan for the day was supposed to be, but I doubt that it involved a half-hour attack on Christians as hateful bigots.
You can argue that the teacher should just be given a good talking to and permitted a second chance. But if the story is correct, she has already revealed herself to be a vindictive bigot of the worst kind.
Talk about out of control and hateful!
This teacher should not only be fired but prosecuted.
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