A six-year-old boy has been suspended from school for showing affection to a classmate, something that the school has labeled sexual harassment. But the boy's family is fighting the label of sexual harassment and say that their son meant absolutely no harm.
Hunter Yelton, who is in the first grade at a school in Canon City, Colorado, reportedly leaned in and kissed a girl on the hand. He allegedly kissed the same girl some time earlier on the cheek and was disciplined for that as well. But his family told KRDO News that their son is fond of the little girl and they are "boyfriend and girlfriend."
"It was during class yeah," Hunter said. "We were doing reading group and I leaned over and kissed her on the hand. That's what happened. They sent me to the office, fair and square. I did something wrong and I feel sorry," he added. more >>
A language teacher at a Catholic high school near Philadelphia was terminated from his job last week after he told school officials he was applying for a gay marriage license with his partner in neighboring New Jersey.
Michael Griffin, who taught French and Spanish at the Holy Ghost Preparatory School for 12 years, lost his job last week after he filed for a same-sex marriage license in New Jersey, where he lives with his partner, Vincent Giannetto. Father James McCloskey, the headmaster at the school located in Philadelphia's suburb of Bensalem, said in a statement that the school must abide by the teachings of the Catholic Church, and Griffin had violated his contract with the school when he applied for a same-sex marriage license.
According to KERO-TV 23, McCloskey said Griffin's decision contradicted "the terms of his teaching contract at our school, which requires all faculty and staff to follow the teachings of the Church as a condition of their employment. In discussion with Mr. Griffin, he acknowledged that he was aware of this provision, yet he said that he intended to go ahead with the ceremony." more >>
Three high school choirs in the Whitefish School District, located in Montana's Flathead Valley, have decided to go through with their holiday concert at a local church despite complaints from the American Civil Liberties Union and the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
Dozens of student members of the Flathead, Glacier and Whitefish high school choirs performed their annual "Peace on Earth Community Christmas Celebration" at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kalispell Thursday. They will be performing a second time Friday evening. School officials decided to go through with the performance despite recent complaints from the ACLU and FFRF which argued the concert was an unconstitutional violation of the separation of church and state due to public school involvement with church activity.
"We are concerned that public school students will be performing at a place of worship as part of an event that is expressly religious in nature," ACLU Public Policy Director Niki Zupanic wrote in a letter addressed to the principals of the three public schools on Tuesday, as reported by the Missoulian. "This situation poses serious constitutional concerns and demonstrates a lack of respect for the individual religious beliefs of the students involved." Both the ACLU and the FFRF requested that the schools end their participation in the concert. more >>
An elementary school in Texas has banned Christmas trees and the colors red and green at its upcoming "winter" party though a recently passed state law protects traditional holiday greetings and displays at public schools. The school's principal said in an email that she and the PTA chose to ban Christmas at the party to avoid "offending anyone."
The PTA group at Nichols Elementary School in Frisco, Texas, recently sent an email to parents regarding an upcoming "winter" party for students. The email listed three rules that each student had to abide by while attending the party: no references to Christmas or other religious holidays, no Christmas trees, no colors red or green, and no items that will stain the classroom carpet.
The rules listed in the email go against the "Merry Christmas Law" passed in the state in June. The law, co-authored by Republican Rep. Pat Fallon, who oversees the district where Nichols Elementary School is located, protects schools from having to censor religious references during the holiday season. more >>
The American teacher killed earlier this week while in Benghazi believed that God would protect him from all harm and took comfort in his faith. Ronald "Ronnie" Smith, 33, was shot and killed while on a morning jog in the area near where U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed last year.
"If there's any single person in the entire universe that you can take a chance on, it's God," Smith said in a video made for the Austin Stone Community Church where he belonged. "No matter what happens, I'm good. That gives me peace; I'm okay with that."
The church issued a statement after his death, stating that he and his family "moved to Benghazi to teach high school chemistry and to be a blessing to the Libyan people. Ronnie loved Libya and was dedicated to his students to help them aspire to their dreams. Ronnie's greatest desire was for peace and prosperity in Libya and for the people of Libya to have the joy of knowing God through Christ." more >>
The Internet is in an uproar over a recent viral photo of what appears to be a third grade science quiz from a private, religious school in Florida that says "gravity was designed by God."
A photo of the quiz was uploaded to the "WTF" thread of the image sharing website Reddit on Tuesday by username Dtooth0, who claims the quiz is real and was a part of his daughter's curriculum at a private Christian school in Florida. Although the man does not name the school for privacy reasons, he does write in the comments section of the Reddit thread that the school is accredited and that the quiz given to the students holds a copyright from an instate Christian University.
The quiz includes five multiple choice answers relating to gravitational pull, including "Gravity is the force that holds the sun, moon, and planets in place" and "without gravity we would be pulled into outer space." Then, there are two questions at the bottom that seem to be attracting the ire of some atheist Reddit commenters. One reads: "People who do not believe in God do not believe in gravity," and the other one reads "Christians know that gravity was designed by our God." more >>