Child Forbidden To Read Bible In Class, So Dad Goes To Media Just Like Jesus Would
Just before Christmas break, 12-year-old Loyal Grandstaff had a problem at school. When he took out a book to read during free time, he says, his teacher made him put it away: because it was the Bible. Grandstaff’s parents did what any reasonable parents would do in the situation: they took it to the local media during the holiday break instead of waiting to discuss it with school officials after the district re-opened in January. Wait, what?
According to Kansas City’s Fox 4 News, the Grandstaff family is unhappy about their son’s school’s handling of his religious freedom – so unhappy that they could not possibly wait to talk to the school to have them address the situation with the teacher and arrange an apology. (Or, indeed, to make sure that their seventh-grader’s accounting of events is 100% accurate. Of course I have no idea what really happened, but I have to point out that “Put the Bible away, you can’t have Bibles in school” and “Put the Bible away, stop reading, and help the rest of the class put away the art supplies” are not quite the same thing.)
Justin Grandstaff, Loyal’s father, plans to broach the subject with the school today – now that he’s blindsided them with an inquiry from the local news station first. Now of course, if Grandstaff was made to put away his Bible because it was a Bible, that is a Big Problem, and the teacher and school have some serious ‘splaining to do, followed by some serious ‘pologizing. Separation of church and state does not mean school employees are allowed to keep students from doing the religion thing on their own time. But … why reach out to the media before making the school aware of the situation?
The principal of Bueker Middle School, which Grandstaff attends, gave a statement to Fox 4 saying that Bibles were certainly not banned on the premises and that he needed to look into the situation more before he could talk about it in any more detail, which I assume means: WTF?!? Coming back to school after winter break is a rude enough awakening to begin with without getting blindsided by a potential media circus. (Just wait until O’Reilly, Limbaugh, and Fox News proper get a hold of this one.) Happy holidays, everyone!
Parents, if you have a problem with your child’s school, please take it up with your child’s school first. Give them a chance to explain if there is an explanation, give them a chance to apologize and make amends if there isn’t one. If they’re unresponsive, if they’re rude, if they run you around and ignore your child’s issue, go ahead and go to the news. But if that’s the first place you run to for recourse, I have wonder how interested you really are in making things right.
(Image: Fox 4 News, Kansas City)