Victor Skinner, writing for the Education Action Group Foundation, revealed today that a public school teacher in Katy, Texas was accused by a seventh-grader that her teacher ordered her to deny that God is real or face a failing grade for the class.
The young girl reported the incident at a meeting of the Katy, Texas School Board where she explained how the events in her class unfolded… that she would not deny her deeply held religious beliefs… and should not receive a failing grade for believing in God.
The girl, identified as Jordan Wooley, a seventh grade student at West Memorial Junior High School in the Katy Independent School District, testified at the school board meeting that the assignment provoked serious controversy in class and said she was frustrated over the teacher’s effort to indoctrinate her and her classmates into atheism.
“Today I was given an assignment in school that questioned my faith and told me that God was not real. Our teacher had started off saying that the assignment had been giving problems all day.
We were asked to take a poll to say whether God is fact, opinion or a myth and she told anyone who said fact or opinion was wrong and God was only a myth,” Wooley told board members.
Wooley said she and many of her fellow students immediately objected to the order, adding that the teacher refused to consider their position. According to Wooley:
The teacher, “started telling kids they were completely wrong and that when kids argued we were told we would get in trouble.
When I tried to argue, she told me to prove it, and I tried to reference things such as the Bible and stories I have read before from people who have died and went to heaven but came back and told their stories, and she told me both were just things people were doing to get attention.”
“I know it wasn’t just me who was affected by it. My friend, she went home and started crying. She was supposed to come with me but she didn’t know if she could” because she was so upset…”
The teen said she spoke with other students in the class who received low grades because of their religious faith and tried to propose compromises that would allow students to express their belief in God, but that the teacher would have none of it.
“Another student asked the teacher if we could put what we believe in the paper, and she said we could … but you would fail the paper if you do,” Wooley told the board.
“I had known before that our schools aren’t really supposed to teach us much about religion or question religion. When I asked my teacher about it she said it doesn’t have anything to do with religion because the problem is just saying there is no God.”
Wooley’s mother, Chantel Wooley, attended the school board meeting with her daughter saying she had exchanged text messages with her daughter about the assignment earlier in the day.
“Hey mom so in reading we were required to say that God is just a myth,” Jordan texted her mother shortly before 3 p.m. Monday. “I thought if a question was against our religion that we could put what we think is true but we got in trouble for saying He is true.”
“Wait what? Myth?” Chantel Wooley replied.
“We had to deny God is real. Yeah, we had to say he was just a myth,” Jordan wrote.
“You got in trouble?” Chantel questioned.
“Yeah she told me I was wrong bc I put it was fact,” Jordan wrote.
“What did you say?” Chantel texted.
“I said he is real and she said that can’t be proven,” Jordan replied.
“And what happened?” Chantel wrote.
“I still put fact on my paper,” Jordan texted.
Jordan told school board members that her family contacted the school principal, who promised to speak with the teacher and investigate the incident. Board members also vowed to “look into it,” but said school administrators should first focus on addressing the issue.
They also thanked Wooley for voicing her concerns and said she “was very brave” to tell her version of events before an open meeting of the school board.