It doesn’t matter if you’re an atheist or Christian or Muslim.
If you’re teaching high school students, don’t tell the kids your personal thoughts on religion. It just makes everyone uncomfortable.
Chad Farnan, a sophomore at Capistrano Valley High School, claims his Advanced Placement European history teacher, James Corbett, made hostile remarks toward Christianity. The Christian student cites an incident from last December when Corbett stated that conservatives do not want women to avoid pregnancies because that interferes with God’s work. In another statement, recorded by Farnan, the teacher claimed that when people put on their “Jesus glasses,” they cannot see the truth.
“These are anti-Christian diatribes by this teacher pretty much almost every day in class,” says the attorney [Jennifer Monk]. In addition to the comments about “Jesus glasses,” says Monk, “he’s said things like ‘Aristotle argued that there has to be a god. Of course, that’s nonsense.’”
Doesn’t matter whether you agree with him or not. Those comments don’t have a place in the classroom.
It all happened several months ago. You can read the case (and the teacher’s statements) here (PDF).
In the most recent update to the case, a federal judge has allowed the California Teachers Association to represent the teacher and district.
There are a couple parallels with Matthew LaClair‘s case — Matthew is the high school student who had a few run-ins with a fundamentalist Christian teacher who preached his personal religious views in class. Like Matthew, Farnan also tape recorded his teacher. And once again, both teacher and student are getting hate mail from both sides.
Still, without knowing more details to the case, it seems like the teacher was in the wrong. I’d side with the student.
Is there any reason not to?