Teacher Suspended After Reading Bible Verses To His Students
A primary school teacher in France was suspended after he reportedly read passages from the Bible to his students aged nine to 11.
The teacher, 40, was working for a school in Malicornay in the department of Indre in central France, according to France Bleu. His Bible-reading activity came to the attention of the school's headmaster, Pierre-François Gachet, after a "team of parents" wrote an anonymous letter complaining about the incident.
The parents accused the teacher, whose name was not revealed, of "proselytism," or trying to convert his students to his own religious beliefs. Gachet subsequently suspended the teacher for his alleged failure to observe France's strict secularism laws that require separation of religion in education.
The national school board is now conducting an inquiry into the teacher's case. Gachet said results of the investigation will be known "before mid March."
Gachet told La Croix that the aim of the investigation is to "determine whether the professor has poured into proselytism or whether he simply lacked discernment."
"At the very least, he showed a very strong taste for religious teaching," he added.
But as far as the local mayor is concerned, the suspension was a "disproportionate measure" since the teacher was actually "very much appreciated" by the pupils and parents.
Meanwhile in California, a seven-year-old boy upset his school so much for distributing Bible verses during lunchtime that school authorities even resorted to calling on a deputy sheriff to send the boy home to stop him from what he was doing, Fox News reported.
"This is a clear, gross violation of the rights of a child," said Horatio Mihet, a Liberty Counsel attorney representing the first-grader from Desert Rose Elementary School in Palmdale.
The boy's parents, Christina and Jaime Zavala, made it a point to write an encouraging note and leave a Bible verse in the boy's lunch bag every day. Their son loved the verses so much that he read it aloud to all of his friends.
It wasn't long before kids asked him for copies of the notes, and the Zavalas happily obliged. However, they were forced to stop after getting a phone call from a teacher telling them that they are "not allowed to share such things while at school."