There’s a story going around online about what happened in Katrina Guarascio‘s creative writing class at Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. What’s especially striking about it is how little we know about what happened.
Why Was This Teacher Pressured to Resign Over What Her Student Turned in for a Creative Writing Assignment?
A Bible-Thumping High School Football Coach Allegedly Threw a Student Off the Team for Not Praying With Everyone
Back in April, we found out that Middletown High School football coach Chris Wells didn’t know how to separate his preaching from his job. The Freedom From Religion Foundation ended up sending a letter to administrators at the Ohio school district:
In the letter from [Freedom From Religion Foundation] staff attorney Rebecca S. Markert, that was obtained by the Journal-News, she wrote the group with 20,000 members, including 550 in Ohio, was contacted by a concerned parent of a football player. She said the group was told Wells tells his players to bow their heads and “leads” them in prayer before team meals. She wrote that Wells also has encouraged his players to attend his church, invited them to church events and offered them rides.
Markert said the group was informed Wells told his players they would be “saved” if they attended the church events.
At the time, it seemed like that was enough.
Superintendent Sam Ison said the district took the letter “seriously and acted upon it promptly” Wednesday afternoon by having MHS Principal Carmela Cotter and Athletic Director Gary Lebo discuss the situation with Wells. Ison said while the district wants its players to maintain “high morale values,” Wells needs to respect others’ religious beliefs.
Wells, 41, was told to quit talking to his players about religion and he agreed to follow the district’s rules, Ison said on Thursday morning.
Palestinian blogger Waleed al-Husseini (below) was arrested in 2010 for his website and Facebook page, both of which were critical of Islam. He spent 10 months in prison for his thought crimes. Now, in a piece at The Daily Beast, he tells his story and makes a plea to the international community: