FFRF tells Ohio teacher: Take the Sunday out of school (April 23, 2012)

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has silenced a proselytizing first-grade teacher at Minford Elementary School in Minford, Ohio.

Prior to FFRF’s complaint, young and impressionable first-grade students were subjected to bible lessons in their public school classroom. The offending teacher was cited with inserting religion into the curriculum during the holiday season. This teacher issued religious assignments and referred to Christmas as “Jesus’ birthday.” She also asked students to color a sheet depicting Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus in a manger. The worksheet included an overtly and leading Christian question: “Who has a birthday on Christmas?” FFRF and its local complainant were concerned the teacher would continue “to teach biblical stories as fact and indoctrinating her very young students.”

FFRF Staff Attorney Stephanie Schmitt first wrote to Superintendent Mark Wilcheck on Feb. 16: “No public school employee may urge religious points of view on students. If this teacher taught her students that Christmas was the day that Jesus was born, she violated basic constitutional principles.”

It wasn’t until Schmitt complained again in April that she received a response. A representative of the school district confirmed that the administration warned “all of the first grade teachers about the legal parameters for teaching about religion in the classroom.” 

Freedom From Religion Foundation