I've been leery about mentioning this one, because there's a lot of she said/they said, but an atheist teacher at a public school in Florida says that two other teachers came into her room and sprinkled her with holy water. The two teachers have been suspended, pending further investigation. I've kept an eye on the story, but the school is keeping mum, rightly citing that the investigation is still in process. The atheist teacher is keeping mum as well. But the two suspended teachers are hopping mad, and their lawyer has been busy filling the news outlets with his version of events. The lawyer says no sprinkling occured, and that students in the classroom saw no sprinkling occuring. Of course, hearing the lawyer is hardly a substitute for hearing from the students themselves. One of the two teachers is a union shop steward, and the union spokesman got into the action, first stating that the two would be 'fully exonerated', before he discovered that the atheist teacher is also a union member, after which he backed off in favor of supporting the impartial investigation. And the school has agreed to meet with local church leaders because... hmmm... I can't think of a way to end that sentence that makes any sense. Let's see what the pastor has to say:
“There is no telling how much harm this teacher has done to the Bible-believing children,” said the Rev. Mathes Guice, an associate minister at Pembroke Park-based Koinonia Worship Center. “We are asking for pastors to be given equal time with her students to refute her teachings.”
I was right, it doesn't make any sense. I mean, yes, as a totally separate issue, if the atheist teacher was using her position to promote irreligion in an unlawful fashion in her classroom, that is a subject for the school to investigate, but it is entirely separate from the sprinkling incident. And neither issue requires school officials to sit down with church officials. To top things off, the Tea Party has gotten involved on the side of the suspended teachers. Wow, I guess I had a lot to say about that. I was holding off until I had more info, or an excuse to talk about it. Here's my excuse. Iowa Catholic school fires teacher after Facebook survey indicates she doesn't believe in God (ok, and she posted a comment on Atheist Nexus). I'm not sure whether to get angry, to laugh at the power of facebook, or to be chagrined about my own ridiculous stint teaching at a Catholic school. As so many have asked me, "What was I thinking?"