While some teachers are getting in trouble for what they say or do in their personal lives while teaching at private religious schools, here’s a story of a teacher who barely gets a slap on the wrist for bringing religion directly into the public school classroom.
Alice Hawley teaches math at Franklin County High School in Mississippi. For 17 years now, she’s been leading students in prayer in class.
The superintendent recently met with her and told her to stop.
At the meeting, Hawley said [superintendent Grady L.] Fleming asked her to read the law about prayer in school and sign it.
“I did not sign it,” Hawley said. “If I have a child requesting prayer, I will pray for them.”
She didn’t sign it, so she was fired.
And then she was rehired a day later.
“They called me at lunch to come down to the central office with my principal,” she said. “(Fleming) more or less told us, since they didn’t have any documentation, they would reinstate me.”
They didn’t have any documentation?! She admits to doing it! She says she’s done it for 17 years! What more do you need?!
If I told students to repeat after me, “God is just a figment of your imagination,” I would be fired in a heartbeat. As I should be.
Hell, you think she’d still have her job if she were a Muslim teacher leading the class in prayer?
The community would be raising their fiery pitchforks in anger if that happened.
How does Hawley explain her actions?
When she comes back in the fall, Hawley said she will continue to pray for students. At the beginning of the school year, she asks students if they are uncomfortable with prayer in the classroom.
“If anyone does not want to pray, I ask them to tell me,” Hawley said. “If they don’t want to voice their opinion, they can write me a note, and we will not have prayer in that class.
“If they go home, and their parents do not want them to pray in class, then we do not have it.”
But in the 17 years that she has been teaching, Hawley said she has yet to have a student or a parent not want prayer in the classroom.
Usually, it’s a good idea to not piss off the person who’s going to give you a grade. No wonder people haven’t said anything.
But, hey, Ms. Hawley, I’m complaining! You’re breaking the law! You’re offending anyone who’s not religious and is afraid to tell you. You’re offending everyone who wants you to get in the classroom and do your job and stop wasting time on prayer.
In case you want to be even more upset about this story, read the comments here. Frightening.
Mississippi: the “the lowest-performing state in both math and science.”
You’re beginning to see why.
(Thanks to Rob for the link)