Parents upset after first grade teacher asks students to stop talking about God
MCCORDSVILLE, Ind. (WXIN) –- Parents of McCordsville Elementary School students are upset after a first grade teacher sent home a letter asking kids not to talk about "God," "Jesus," and the "Devil."
According to a release from the school, a debate about God took place in a first grade classroom earlier this week. In response to the debate, the teacher wrote a letter about expectations in the classroom and sent it to parents. The letter talked about school language and asked parents to have a "talk" with their children about the appropriate time and place to talk about religion.
WXIN obtained the letter from a parent of one of the students in the class, which reads in part:
"With Mccordsville Elementary being a public school, we have many different religions and beliefs, and I do not want to upset a child or parent because of these words being used."
But a letter from the Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation Superintendent Dr. Robbins says it is okay for students to talk about their beliefs as long as it does not disrupt class.
To simply summarize, MVCSC employees can neither advance nor inhibit religious views. Trying to limit a student's view on religion is a violation of a student's first amendment rights. However, if the discussion becomes an academic disruption, then as a district, we can intervene to maintain the integrity of the educational process while at the same time being sure to not violate a student's constitutional rights.
District officials say they have met with the teacher about the school's policies. It is unclear whether she will face any disciplinary action.