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Elementary Teacher's Note to Parents about 'Religious Talk' Sparks Backlash

08-25-2017
Groups Of Students AS

Parents in Indiana are shocked after an elementary school teacher sent home a note discouraging discussion about 'God', 'Jesus', and 'Devil' in her classroom at McCordsville Elementary. 

"I just couldn't even believe that I was receiving something like this and reading something of this nature for first-graders," one parent told 24-Hour News 8. 

The teacher sent the note home after hearing a few students discussing religion during class and said those conversations may be offensive to other students. 

"With McCordsville Elementary being a public school, we have many different religions and beliefs, and I do not want to upset a child/parent because of these words being used. If you go to church or discuss these things at home, please have a talk with your child about there being an appropriate time and place of talking about it," the teacher wrote in the note.

One parent responded by arguing the teacher has the right to eliminate distractions from the classroom, but went on to say they cannot infringe on the right to free speech. 

"If it's in the middle of academic time and it's a distraction, then absolutely it would make sense for the teacher to kind of redirect," said Kristen Young, who has children attending McCordsville Elementary. "But to squelch their desire to learn and to discuss with other friends is a shame I would say."

After hearing complaints from many parents, the school is taking action. 

"Board policy states employees can neither advance nor inhibit religious views; trying to limit a student's view on religion is a violation of a student's first amendment rights," Mt. Vernon Community School Corp. Superintendent Shane Robbins said in statement. 

The teacher has since sent out another letter to parents saying her previous statement did not come across the ways she intended.

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