Sep 17, 2014 5:30 PM
Discrimination against Faith-Driven Views Alive and Well in U.S. Schools
Three cases in the past week highlight the increased attack upon faith-driven viewpoints in American public education.
At the university level, Arkansas State University football players commemorating the recent deaths of two Christian teammates by wearing cross-shaped helmet decals were ordered by the school’s legal counsel to either remove the crosses or modify them into non-religious, mathematical “plus” (+) symbols. This, despite the fact that ASU’s athletic director fully supported the rights of these students to express a faith-driven viewpoint as they grieved the loss of their teammates.
Then, an Arizona high school football coach was terminated from his position for refusing to tell his players to stop praying before and after games. This, despite the fact that student-led prayers are allowable so long as school leadership does not organize or facilitate such efforts.
Finally, at a junior high school in Fayetteville, Arkansas, a 13-year-old Christian girl was ordered to change out of a t-shirt with the abstinence message “Virginity Rocks” on the front, and “I’m loving my husband and I haven’t even met him” on the reverse. Why? Because her faith-based, pro-life, “wait until marriage” viewpoint was deemed by school officials to be disruptive and might lead to uncomfortable conversations about sex. This, despite the fact that the school distributes condoms and otherwise teaches sex and health education.
In all three cases, it would appear that a strong case could be made for discrimination on the basis of a faith-driven, Christian viewpoint. And it would appear that the school administrators involved either prematurely caved to minimal pressure and fears of litigation or were simply not well informed about the fact that students are not required to check their First Amendment rights at the school house door.
Are there examples of viewpoint discrimination against Christians in your local or state schools? Do you know what your children’s rights are to express their faith-driven views as students? And do you know where to turn to get the legal help you need to be able to stand up for your faith in the public arena?
Check out these Christian legal resources and prepare yourself and your family to fully exercise your faith in the marketplace of goods, services and ideas: