Free Speech of Student Attacked at Public School
by Jim Brown
(AgapePress) - There has been a big victory for freedom of speech and freedom of faith in Colorado.
After Elizabeth Johnson, a sixth-grader at Peak to Peak Charter School in Boulder, was told she would not be allowed to present her book report on the Old Testament Book of Exodus, Robert Corry with the Alliance Defense Fund came to her defense. Corry threatened a civil rights lawsuit, and the Boulder Valley School District promptly backed down.
The Christian attorney says teachers had initially told Elizabeth she could not even bring her Bible to school. Then after Elizabeth's mom discussed the issue with the principal, the decision was modified to allow Elizabeth to do a written report, but not deliver an oral report, like the other students.
"Their concern was, I think, a mistaken view of the alleged separation of church and state," Corry explains. "And they were probably also concerned with a couple of students in Elizabeth's class who are not Christian and who they thought might be offended by a biblical message."
According to Corry, this particular case proves the Bible can flourish in public schools. And there is another message, he says.
"The message is that Elizabeth, who is a sixth-grader and a passionate Christian, really is a hero coming out of this," the attorney says. "It's not easy for her to stand up to her teachers and to the school, but she did, and she did it out of love. I don't think she was doing it for any motives to bring attention to herself. In fact, it was quite the opposite."
Corry says Elizabeth's story also sends a pretty strong message that students who have religious beliefs are not second-class citizens, but rather are entitled to all the rights and privileges enjoyed by everybody else.