Elementary School Is Being Accused Of Trying To Silence A Boy Who Wants To Share Bible Verses
Desert Rose Elementary School in Palmdale, California, is being accused of violating a 7-year-old boy’s First Amendment rights when school officials dispatched a sheriff’s deputy to the boy’s home in order to warn him against spreading bible verses after school.
The Liberty Counsel, a Christian nonprofit litigation group, has threatened the school with legal action “an outrageous violation of a first grader’s constitutional rights.”
The group said the student would read aloud the Bible verses that his mother, Christina Zavala, would pack away in his lunch. Kids were so enthralled and intrigued by the verses that they too wanted their own verses. Ms. Zavala then started providing Bible verses for her son’s friends that included short stories for context.
“However, when one little girl said ‘teacher — this is the most beautiful story I’ve ever seen,’ ‘separation of church and state’ was the response, and the notes were banned from lunchtime distribution. The boy was told that the school gate was the only location at which he could give the Bible verses to his friends, and only after the bell rang.” – the Liberty Counsel said.
Ms. Zavala and her son started only handing out the verses after school at the gate in late April. Still, the distribution of verses became so popular, that at least 15 students showed up every day. On May 9, Principal Melanie Pagliaro reportedly approached the boy’s father, Jaime Zavala, and demanded he and the boy move completely off school property and onto the public sidewalk. The family did as they were told.
Later on in that day, a Los Angeles Deputy Sheriff went to the Zavala’s home to advise the boy to stop sharing notes because some kids “might be offended,” the Liberty Counsel said.
Since then, Palmdale School District issued this statement:
It has come to our attention that the religious freedom rights of a student and his parents may have been violated at Palmdale School District Desert Rose Elementary School. The public can count on the following:
1. The District respects the religious liberties of its students and parents to the fullest extent of law;
2. The District is conducting an expedited investigation to determine the relevant facts as soon as possible; and
3. The District will take all appropriate action with respect to this incident, and will take such further action as may be needed to protect the religious liberties of its students and parents on an ongoing basis.
The family is now seeking legal help.
Article: Washington Times