The video below was posted on TikTok by a Mississippi fourth grade teacher about wanting to teach her class about Jesus because education about gender was being promoted led me to do the snarky photoshop above. Her TikTok video was reposted on Twitter (click below to watch) and made it into the news.
I was alerted to this story by an article on RawStory: Elementary school teacher says she should be allowed to teach kids about Jesus to ‘even out the playing ground’
"If schools are allowed to teach gender identity to elemenary [sic] children then I, as a elemenary [sic] educator should also have the freedom to teach them about how God was not confused when he designed them," says the person in the video, which says it was created by Kristan Whann.
"We must protect our children," the title reads.
"I should be able to teach them about Jesus and how God created them a boy or a girl on purpose and for a purpose. If you have the freedom to teach my child that they might be confused about their gender, then I should also have the liberty to teach your child that God did not make a mistake when he created them. I think it's time we even out the playing ground."
The wide-eyed photo RawStory used made me think “this woman is on something” though I admit this is judgmental and unfair because she is expressing a deeply held religious belief.
Her use of the word “indoctrinate” rather than saying “educate” or even just “teach” demonstrates a basic lack of understanding about the role of a teacher, and about what the law says about the difference between teaching religion and teaching about religion in public schools. This is from the ADL website (www.adl.org/...)
What distinguishes "teaching religion" from "teaching about religion"?
Religion may be presented as part of a secular educational program. Programs that "teach about religion" are geared toward teaching students about the role of religion in the historical, cultural, literary and social development of the United States and other nations. These programs should instill understanding, tolerance and respect for a pluralistic society. When discussing religion in this context, religion must be discussed in a neutral, objective, balanced and factual manner. Such programs should educate students about the principle of religious liberty as one of the fundamental elements of freedom and democracy in the United States.
"Teaching religion" amounts to religious indoctrination or practice and is clearly prohibited in public schools. A public school curriculum may not be devotional or doctrinal.3 Nor may it have the effect of promoting or inhibiting religion. A teacher must not promote or denigrate any particular religion, religion in general, or lack of religious belief.4 A teacher must not interject personal views or advocate those of certain students. Teachers must be extremely sensitive to respect, and not interfere with, a student's religious beliefs and practices. Students must not be encouraged to accept or conform to specific religious beliefs or practices. A program intended to teach religion, disguised as teaching about religion, will be found unconstitutional.5
In sum, there is a critical difference between teaching religion and teaching about religion…
This article concludes with six sample scenarios.
It would be constitutional to teach about Satanism and other fringe religious belief systems in a public school. I think it would be particularly important in this day and age to teach children when they are old enough to grasp the information to teach them about cults and what leads people to join them and to accept outlandish and potentially dangerous beliefs.
On a slightly related matter, if you read my diary from yesterday you may reasonably conclude after reading this today and seeing my illustration that perhaps my binge watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer (on Amazon) after watching them all when they first aired has led me to have demons on my mind. You might be right about this.
Today was the day Mr. Pillow predicted "if everything goes right," he will secure a "preliminary injunction" against the long-settled election results. A search of his name on Google News turned up, wait for it, nothing. news.google.com/...
These are screen grabs from Kristin Whann’s TikTok page. I was struck by her ranting on about pedophilia.