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Shelby County teacher proselytized students, says Freedom From Religion Foundation

The teacher reportedly sent home religious materials with students and included a religious message in a yearbook signature.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation seeks to enforce the separation of church and state.
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A Shelby County teacher has been warned against promoting Christianity at Calera High School after school officials were alerted by the Freedom From Religion Foundation about his activities.

FFRF, a watchdog organization that seeks to prevent any promotion of religion within the government, says a concerned parent notified them that a Calera teacher had sent home Christian literature with students and signed a student’s yearbook with a religious message.

“…you are designed for a grand incredible purpose that has cosmic significance,” FFRF cited the inscription as reading. “The God of the Universe, your creator and mine, has made a way for men and women to commune with Him and to be found in Him. This purpose is tied up in His identity, who He is, God is triune, three persons one God. God the Holy Spirit, God the Son, Jesus Christ, and God the Father… He desires a corporate Bride for the Son, Jesus Christ. He desires children for His family, Sons and daughters reconciled to the Father.”

The organization notified Shelby County Schools of the teacher’s actions.

“If the district continues to turn a blind eye to the overt proselytization occurring in Mr. Waring’s classroom, it becomes complicit in an egregious constitutional violation and breach of trust,” FFRF Staff Attorney Chris Line wrote to the school district’s counsel. “The district must make certain that none of its employees are unlawfully and inappropriately indoctrinating students in religious matters by discussing their personal religious beliefs, preaching, handing out religious materials, or otherwise creating a religious environment in their classrooms.”

The school district initiated a probe after FFRF’s missive and took action.

“Following the investigation, they have had repeated conversations with the teacher, required him to review materials emphasizing the importance of separation of church and state, and had him put together a written reflection confirming he understood the importance of the issue,” the attorney for the district recently emailed Line.

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The Freedom From Religion Foundation said it is appreciative as to how open to outside advice the Shelby County Schools system is.

“The school district took strong action after we informed it about the teacher’s constitutional transgressions,” said FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “We’re pleased at the way things turned out.”

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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