Monday, November 26, 2012

Religion and Politics in Kentucky Schools: Kentucky Equality Federation petitions the Government of the Commonwealth of Kentucky

Even after an apology and a reprimand, Kentucky Equality Federation’s Southern Kentucky Regional Management today condemned the actions of a Southern Kentucky educator. South Laurel High School teacher, Ms. Kendra Baker wrote on the top of her school board “You can’t be a Democrat & go to Heaven.” Kentucky Equality Federation is filing complaints with the Kentucky Department of Education, the Kentucky Office of Secretary of Education, as well as every member of the House Standing Committee on Education on the inappropriate conduct of school officials in Clay, Grant, and Laurel Counties.

--> Legislation Proposed by Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer (.pdf)

“The School Superintendent reprimanded the Laurel County teacher, citing that she broke with policy regarding the environment of the classroom and we thank Superintendent Doug Bennett for his swift action,” stated Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer. “Kentucky Equality Federation contends the objective of such a message was to scare children into thinking a certain ideology by damaging the thought process, scaring the Commonwealth’s youth, introducing partisan politics in the classroom, imposing one-sided views on the classroom and generally directing the students into confined thinking. Regardless of the origin of the statement, the teacher had the greater responsibility to remain objective.

Though I am a practicing Christian and Taoist, religion or partisan politics have no place in our classrooms as Kentucky Equality Federation stopped Bibles from being distributed in Grant County last week, which the Superintendent had approved.”

Kentucky Equality Federation’s Board members who represent the straight community were the most critical. Board member Miles Meehan stated: While we can celebrate political diversity, such statements only polarize and divide. Furthermore, any statement like what was written on the board has no place in a classroom - or even a church! - where a child or anyone else might feel slighted or like a second class citizen. It is my opinion that faith and politics are a nasty concoction. Hopefully Ms. Baker can learn from this mistake and her zeal can be refocused into uniting students and preparing them to become our future leaders.”

Board member Kristina Curry added: “The statement was not one to be made by someone teaching and shaping our young minds and future leaders of our Commonwealth. It wouldn't have been anymore right if she had posted it the opposite way.”

"Ms. Kendra Baker's actions during the election illustrate the divisiveness and polarization of American politics today," stated Chairman of the Board Brandon Combs. "It is my understanding that Ms. Baker is a Social Studies and Civics teacher, where discussing politics is typically acceptable. Once presented with this quote by a student, it should have immediately been disregarded as inappropriate for classroom discussion. Children should not be introduced to partisan politics or threatened with religious punishment while in the classroom. This lack of judgment is very concerning considering Ms. Baker is educating our future community leaders and work force."

Kentucky Equality Federation’s Religious Outreach Director, Minister Edith Baker, Ph.D., was outraged stating: “The statement nullifies the death of Jesus. The teacher condoned a statement that says being a registered Republican is what saves us, not Jesus, or faith in God, which as I stated in the Grant County incident last week, religion (and politics) should be taught at home. This 'teacher' is in dire need of learning. Where in this world or from what Bible did this woman garner this vital information?”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't pray in my schools and I won't think in your churches.