Target: Sabine Parish Superintendent Sara Ebard
Goal: Stop harassing non-Christian students and do not allow prayer in public schools
The American Civil Liberties Union recently filed a lawsuit against a Louisiana school district for its harassment of a Buddhist student because of the child’s religious beliefs. The student, who is of Thai descent, was reportedly told by a science teacher that Buddhism is “stupid.” The same teacher also apparently tells students that evolution is “impossible,” the Earth was created 6000 years ago, and that the Bible is “100 percent true.”
The school, Negreet High School, also regularly incorporates overt Christian prayer into many classroom and school events and has Bible verses scrolling on an electronic marquee near its entrance. The lawsuit claims that these activities are known to and supported by the school board. When the student’s parents complained, they were allegedly told that “this is the Bible Belt” and suggested that their child either change religions or transfer to a school “with more Asians.”
While the school may indeed be in the “Bible Belt,” that does not excuse such blatant disregard for the right of a minority student to attend school without fear of being ridiculed for their religious beliefs or constantly pressured, either overtly or subliminally, to convert to Christianity. The separation of church and state is a pivotal part of our government’s structure. Because public schools are government institutions, prayer should play no part in school-sanctioned events.
Sign this petition to insist that the Sabine Parish school district stop its harassment of non-Christian students and comply with the principle that there should be no prayer in public schools.
Dear Superintendent Sara Ebard,
The American Civil Liberties Union has recently filed a lawsuit against your school district alleging that a young Buddhist student has repeatedly faced harassment by a science teacher due to his religious beliefs. Further, the lawsuit claims that Negreet High School has Bible verses scrolling on the electronic marquee in front of the school and that Christian prayers are said in the classroom and at many school events.
The separation of church and state is a very important building block of this nation’s founding that is in place in order to avoid this type of harassment of religious minorities. Your school district’s practices are inexcusable, and I am writing to urge you to take immediate steps to ensure that similar circumstances are not repeated in the future.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: photo via Wikimedia Commons