An Alabama school district has put a stop to a teacher’s blatant proselytizing after the Freedom From Religion Foundation alerted it.
A concerned Shelby County Schools parent had informed the national state/church watchdog that their child’s teacher had been openly propagating Christianity to his students. Alan Waring, a biology teacher at Calera High School, had sent home religious materials with students and signed a student’s yearbook with a religious message.
The handout Waring gave to students was titled, “God loves you and He has a plan for your life,” a bizarre religious screed meant to indoctrinate students into Christianity. And Waring put a similarly over-the-top religious inscription in a student’s yearbook:
…you are designed for a grand incredible purpose that has cosmic significance. The God of the Universe, your creator and mine, has made a way for men and women to commune with Him and to be found in Him. This purpose is tied up in His identity, who He is, God is triune, three persons one God. God the Holy Spirit, God the Son, Jesus Christ, and God the Father… He desires a corporate Bride for the Son, Jesus Christ. He desires children for His family, Sons and daughters reconciled to the Father.
“If the district continues to turn a blind eye to the overt proselytization occurring in Mr. Waring’s classroom, it becomes complicit in an egregious constitutional violation and breach of trust,” FFRF Staff Attorney Chris Line wrote to the school district’s counsel. “The district must make certain that none of its employees are unlawfully and inappropriately indoctrinating students in religious matters by discussing their personal religious beliefs, preaching, handing out religious materials, or otherwise creating a religious environment in their classrooms.”
The school district initiated a probe after FFRF’s missive — and arrived at an appropriate course of action.
“Following the investigation, they have had repeated conversations with the teacher, required him to review materials emphasizing the importance of separation of church and state, and had him put together a written reflection confirming he understood the importance of the issue,” the attorney for the district recently emailed Line.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is appreciative as to how open to outside advice the Shelby County Schools system is.
“The school district took strong action after we informed it about the teacher’s constitutional transgressions,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “We’re pleased at the way things turned out.”
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with more than 37,000 members across the country, including hundreds of members in Alabama. Its purpose is to protect the constitutional principle of separation between state and church.