Thursday, October 23, 2014

School to parents: Does your son have to be Buddhist? | Al Jazeera America

You may remember way back in January I posted about the young boy in the Sabine Parish school district in Louisiana who was told, "this is the Bible belt." you. should "change" your faith or transfer to another district school where "there are more Asians," by school administration all because of his Buddhist beliefs. (These statements where made to the parents by school officials after voicing their displeasure, obviously directed toward the boy.) Although the case is "settled" the ramifications and aftermath linger.
“A lot of the school officials don’t think they are going to get caught,” said Weaver, the ACLU attorney. “And they often don’t because a lot of times, the student of minority faith or belief is not willing to speak up or report what is going on.”

In some instances, there are well-organized groups lobbying teachers to introduce Christian-themed study into the classroom. The Museum of the Bible is the most prominent. Earlier this year, it unveiled a Bible study curriculum for high school students billed as “constitutionally sound, despite the fact that it states that humanity will “suffer” if it ignores God’s rules.

As for the Lanes, the Sabine Parish School Board settled with them earlier this year, agreeing to end any school-sanctioned Christian activity. C.C. is now at a new school and doing better. But the cost on the family has been high. In sticking up for her brother, Anna lost friends. Sharon Lane said strangers menaced her as she was doing yard work.

The Lanes said they've lost a little faith in a community that allowed this to happen. They sometimes wonder whether the superintendent was right. Maybe they would be better off living somewhere else.

“There were times when I felt: ‘How could I do this to him? How could I put him in this situation?’” Sharon Lane said. “He’s at an age where he needs friends and to be accepted. And he asked several times, ‘Can I just go back to Utah?’ … That was one of the hardest times of my life.”

School to parents: Does your son have to be Buddhist? | Al Jazeera America

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