Erica Mackey is a 3rd grade teacher in Duncan, Oklahoma. A quick view of her Facebook profile shows that she is a young, dedicated teacher who spends a good amount of time caring about her students. Recently, however, Mrs. Mackey committed a bit of a no-no when she decided it was a good idea to offer Bibles to her students, in class, during school hours.
At least one of the students reported to their parents that they felt “peer pressured and coerced,” according to the American Humanist Association. A letter was quickly drafted and sent to the school principal and Superintendent of Schools in Duncan, reminding them of the 1st amendment, citing precedence in the law and requesting that teachers be told they absolutely can not issue a copy of the New Testament to students.
With the growing “religious freedom” movement among the Christian right, reports like this are likely to spike. Devout Christians looking to indoctrinate whoever they can are making their way not only into our state and federal governments, but also our schools.
One would think that as a teacher, Mrs. Mackey would have an understanding of things as basic as the 1st amendment. Government shall make no law respecting establishment of religion. The Supreme has upheld that as a public servant employed by government, teachers are simply not allowed to lead their students in prayer or offer materials in support of any particular religion.
Mrs. Mackey’s profile indicates ta she is a fan of the Duggars, the somewhat famous television family of zealots who have who-knows-how-many children now and spend their time opposing things like birth control and advocating for, wouldn’t you know it, school prayer.
The Christian right is under the impression that there is some sort of moral decay in our country, refusing to see that they’re the ones causing it with their hatred of the poor and oppression of women and any religion other than their own. They assert that a lack of school prayer is the problem.
School prayer isn’t against the law- teachers leading it is. If you need your public school teachers to take responsibility for building your children’s moral fiber you’re a failure as a parent.
H/T: The New Civil Rights Movement | Image: Facebook