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Teacher Tells 10-Year-Old God Is Not an Acceptable 'Idol'
September 13, 2013 at 3:13 PM

*Public School article posted for discussion*

Teacher Tells 10-Year-Old God Is Not an Acceptable 'Idol' (VIDEO)

by Mary Fischer 

elementary school

Ugh. Can someone please explain to me what the heck this world is coming to? Because after hearing that a 10-year-old girl was not allowed to choose God as her idol to write about for a school assignment, I really don't know whether to scream or cry.

Mom Erica Shead explains how her daughter, Erin, came home from school on Wednesday upset. When she drew a diagram in class with the words, "I look up to God," in the middle of it -- her teacher told her that God was not an acceptable idol, and that she'd have to start the assignment all over again.

The poor kid wound up choosing Michael Jackson (basically going from one extreme to the other) as an alternative.

Erin told her mother she wanted to write about God because "God created the earth" and added that she's "doing the best she can."

And as you can imagine, Erica is absolutely irate over the teacher's decision, as she should be.

Take a look at this video clip to hear more about what happened.

 Video here

That poor child. This makes me absolutely sick to my stomach. Who the hell is that teacher to tell a child who she can and cannot look up to? By telling her to choose someone else, and by not even allowing her to keep the original assignment at school (you know, because it's SO offensive), she's basically teaching her that her faith doesn't matter and isn't worth believing in. And that's just sad, wrong, disgusting, ridiculous, and well ... really shitty, if you ask me.

What would've been the harm in letting her write about God? It's not like she was preaching to the class or anything. She was simply following the instructions she was given to complete her school work -- and she basically got punished for it. Yes, it is a punishment to take a child's beautiful, creative idea and classify it as wrong, when it clearly isn't.

Oh, and another thing, I'd be appalled about this incident no matter where in the country it happened. But in Millington, Tennessee -- right outside of Memphis?!? If kids can't express their love for God in the Bible belt, it certainly doesn't offer much hope to the rest of the U.S.

I don't blame Erica one bit for going straight to the principal. I would've done the same thing in her shoes, because the way her daughter was treated is unacceptable. Schools should be a place where children are encouraged to stand up for what they believe instead of hiding from it.

That teacher should be ashamed of herself. All I can say is thank GOD my kid isn't in her class.

Do you think Erin should have been allowed to write about her true idol?

Replies

  • Bookoholic
    September 13, 2013 at 3:19 PM
    I would have let my daughter continued to write the assignment with God as the idol. Told her she didn't have to change it and be done.
  • ablackdolphin
    September 13, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    I think it's one thing for a public school to teach about God and bring up/use God in the classroom I think it's another for a child to choose to bring it up.  KWIM? It's another thing if she's presenting to the class, maybe the topic isn't appropriate for the whole class but if she wants to write a paper that only the teacher will read then it's just another instance of how the public school system tries to make rules that just don't always apply.

  • kirbymom
    September 13, 2013 at 6:20 PM
    Really?!?!! God or not, there is NEVER a time in that kind of setting where a TEACHER ridicules a child publicly for their OPINION. Period. The student should be publicly apologized to since she was ridiculed publicly and she should be able to recite her original paper to the class.

    We have have lost sight of the fact that people are going to have personal opinions. There is nothing wrong with personal opinions. This homeschool group should be very proud of themselves. Why, you ask? What for? Well, let me tell you then.
    This homeschool group has many different opinions and many different religious faiths and many who do not have a faith. We all get along. Rather well too in my opinion. We do not all believe the same way. Or think the same way. Or behave in the same way. YET.... we all get along! How do we do that? We do that by being tolerant of everyone's views and perceptions. So, when we cannot tolerate a young child's chosen topic just because it so happens to be of a religious variety, what type of message are we sending our kids? We listen to other's who use the words, I'll pray for you when someone talks about being sick. Do we all of a sudden say, you mustn't speak like that, it is wrong? No. We do not. We just let it be said and move on. Why? Because we know that there was no intent to be harmful.
    Why then do we not teach the same to our children? Why must we be so Intolerant? We don't have to push our personal beliefs onto others. So therefore we should be able to listen to someone's thoughts/opinions without breaking down.

    What do you think?
  • Dawn07
    by Dawn07
    September 13, 2013 at 6:27 PM
    Well spoken. I believe that the line of religious tolerance often gets crossed into the squelching of ones personal beliefs.

    Quoting kirbymom:

    Really?!?!! God or not, there is NEVER a time in that kind of setting where a TEACHER ridicules a child publicly for their OPINION. Period. The student should be publicly apologized to since she was ridiculed publicly and she should be able to recite her original paper to the class.



    We have have lost sight of the fact that people are going to have personal opinions. There is nothing wrong with personal opinions. This homeschool group should be very proud of themselves. Why, you ask? What for? Well, let me tell you then.

    This homeschool group has many different opinions and many different religious faiths and many who do not have a faith. We all get along. Rather well too in my opinion. We do not all believe the same way. Or think the same way. Or behave in the same way. YET.... we all get along! How do we do that? We do that by being tolerant of everyone's views and perceptions. So, when we cannot tolerate a young child's chosen topic just because it so happens to be of a religious variety, what type of message are we sending our kids? We listen to other's who use the words, I'll pray for you when someone talks about being sick. Do we all of a sudden say, you mustn't speak like that, it is wrong? No. We do not. We just let it be said and move on. Why? Because we know that there was no intent to be harmful.

    Why then do we not teach the same to our children? Why must we be so Intolerant? We don't have to push our personal beliefs onto others. So therefore we should be able to listen to someone's thoughts/opinions without breaking down.



    What do you think?
  • debramommyof4
    September 13, 2013 at 7:00 PM

     I would have told my child to turn it in anyway.  If the teacher failed her based on what she chose to write about, the teacher, principle and I would have words.  The assignment was idol of choice, not of the teacher's choice. 

    I do not think that she did anything wrong.

  • mem82
    by mem82
    September 13, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    Heaven help us if a kid has to look up to some poor soul like Michael Jackson. 8(

  • paknari
    by paknari
    September 13, 2013 at 9:48 PM
    Although I am Christian and I think that God is a great idol, I can see why the girl wasn't allowed to write a paper about it in school. There are a lot of crazy ass people out there that would sue if little tommy heard a paper that Was offensive.
  • ablessedlife
    September 13, 2013 at 10:00 PM
    Quoting paknari:

    Although I am Christian and I think that God is a great idol, I can see why the girl wasn't allowed to write a paper about it in school. There are a lot of crazy ass people out there that would sue if little tommy heard a paper that Was offensive.

    No. Even in school, especially in school, students are (should be) allowed to share their opinions and beliefs. Students need to hear that others might believe differently than you do. If the teacher doesn't want to have that in her class, then she shouldn't assign something like writing "about your idol." Choose a different topic then. Choose one that is less evoking. (But evoking is good, in my opinion, especially if the children are a bit older.)
  • Mandallyn
    September 13, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    I don't think that's appropriate for school. I would be outraged if my son came home saying he'd learned about god in public school. I do think children should be pushed to learn more about human rights activists who have managed to make great change in their societies, no matter if that person is a religious figurehead or not. It's people who make change in our physical world, the spiritual should be something left for parents to teach at home. Even if only the teacher was reading it, I still believe it's not appropriate for a public school.  Asking a teacher to grade an essay on a student's religous beliefs irks me deeply. The child's faith only matters to her personally. Her faith will not make the world bend to accommodate her.

  • lucsch
    by lucsch
    September 13, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    Personally, as a Christian, I'd be offended by the assignment. Christians don't have idols. It is forbidden in the 1st commandment. We may admire others or even have human heroes, but worship is restricted to our one, true God. I'd ask for a religious exemption. I am so glad to be able to homeschool!

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