On Monday July 16th, JT Eberhard, campus organizer and high school specialist for the Secular Student Alliance (SSA), posted about a letter SSA had received where an uninformed teacher had gloated about preventing students at the high school where he worked from forming a chapter of the SSA. Eberhard posted the contents of a letter he e-mailed to the administration of that high school and it points out in detail why the teacher’s actions are illegal not to mention bigoted. Just image the uproar if the teacher had done what he did to students wanting to form a religious group.
“First, you should know why I’m emailing you, specifically, about a letter with no return address. While the letter itself contained no return address, the sender included his email address as well as proof that he is a teacher at a high school. The email address belongs to a man named XXXXX whose email is NAME12345@yahoo.com. There are presently three XXXXXs teaching at high schools in the United States. I’m sure you recognize 12345 as the zip code of [US CITY WHERE THE SCHOOL IS LOCATED]. Not only that, XYZ High School was the only school of the three to which the SSA had sent a group-starting packet in the last year and a half, which explains how Mr. XXXXX would’ve gotten a copy of our educators brochure. It seems irrefutably clear that the letter was sent by the XXXXX who teaches at XYZ High School.
Now to the parts of his letter that should concern you. Mr. XXXXX wrote…
When beliefs are far from what is considered the norm you should have the expectation that you will be judged. Also, in any society the few are sometimes required to participate in the activities of the masses if they do not want to be ostracized.
The notion that ostracism is justified for a minority if they do not conform to the activities of the majority, coming from an educator, is in violation of so many Education Discrimination Laws that the list defies concise description, not the least of which is Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”
. . .
When high school students try to start a secular club, more often than not they experience interference from their administration. This is how hard we must fight for mere equality. This is the amount of effort that must frequently be put in just to ensure that people do what they should.
If it isn’t a teacher burning crosses on student’s arms then some try and sabotage non-theist children from forming groups at school like everyone else can.
My advice to teachers thinking they need to “save” their students from “hell” is to get a legal opinion from your school because like the teacher that wrote to the SSA, being uninformed can cause some serious trouble for the school district.