Scary Thought: This really happened in our country? Yea it did.
PALMDALE, Calif. – A seven-year-old first grader was recently reprimanded in front of his entire class and a police officer was dispatched to his family’s home because the child had brought notes with Bible verses on them to school.
Christina and Jaime Zavala live in Palmdale, California. In January, they enrolled their son in the first grade at Desert Rose Elementary School in the Palmdale School District, according to a recent letterfrom the nonprofit group Liberty Counsel. To encourage her son at school, Christina gave him brief notes to read during lunchtime. Each note included a Bible verse for him to read.
The Zavalas’ son, identified as “C” in the Liberty Counsel’s letter, began telling his classmates about his mother’s encouraging notes and began reading the Bible verses to them. Each day, several students would gather around C to hear the lunchtime notes and Bible verses written by Christina.
“After this had occurred for some time, one friend asked for a copy of the Bible verse, that he, too, could have,” the Liberty Counsel letter explains. “C relayed the request to his mother, who began to send a Bible verse for C, and one for his friend. Soon, five more students asked C for a Bible verse, and C brought additional copies for them, as well. The notes grew to include a short story providing context for the Bible verse, which C would read to the children.”
However, in April, C’s first grade teacher learned of Christina’s note-writing when a girl in her class came up to her one day and said, “Teacher, this is the most beautiful story I have ever seen—C gave it to me.” When the teacher saw that the “beautiful story” on the note was from the Bible, she told C in front of the other students that he was not allowed to share the Bible stories at school but would instead have to stand outside the school gate after the bell rang.
The teacher also called C’s mother to explain the situation.
“Please tell your son that there is a separation of church and state,” the teacher reportedly told Christina.
Christina responded by writing a letter to C’s teacher, explaining that C was only sharing the notes with children who asked to read them, that he was not interrupting class time, and that none of this was prohibited by the U.S. Constitution’s Establishment Clause.
“However,” the Liberty Counsel reports, “despite the accurate information about student religious rights which Christina shared with her, when the students were lined up in the classroom the next day, in front of C and the whole class, C’s teacher again told C that he was not allowed to share the notes at school.”
So, in compliance with the teacher’s request, Christina (or, on same days, Jaime) and C began to share the Bible verses with C’s friends after school outside the school gate. This continued until May 9, when the school principal came up and informed them that their actions were “against school policy.” Later that day, a Los Angeles deputy sheriff knocked on the Zavalas’ door, saying he had been sent by the school. He reiterated that the note distribution was not permitted because “someone might be offended.”
In a press release issued on Thursday, Liberty Counsel described the school’s treatment of C and his family as “a clear, gross violation of the rights of a child.”
“I would expect something like this to happen in Communist Romania, where I went to elementary school, but cops don’t bully 7-year-olds who want to talk about Jesus in the Land of the Free,” opined Horatio “Harry” Mihet, Liberty Counsel’s Vice President of Legal Affairs and Chief Litigation Counsel.
“It was outrageous and should shock the conscious of every freedom-loving American,” Mihet said, according to a Fox News report. “Apparently all the real criminals have been dealt with in Palmdale and now they’re going after kids who share Bible verses during lunch time.”
“If students are permitted to pass out Valentine or birthday cards at school or to talk about Superman and Captain America at lunch, they cannot be prohibited from sharing Bible verses and discussing their faith during their free, non-instructional time,” he added.
Liberty Counsel is representing Jaime, Christina, and C in this case and is urging the Palmdale School District to respect the family’s Constitutional rights.
“The District has a duty to correct the record, not only to C, but to these other future citizens,” the Liberty Counsel’s letter states. “If we do not receive this response, we will take further action to prevent irreparable harm to the cherished First Amendment liberties of our clients.”
In a Facebook post on Friday, Christina provided her perspective on the situation.
“We are learning firsthand about our ‘rights’ as Americans and learning to walk in the grace and truth God has given us through Jesus,” she said, saying their family would continue to be “bold in love and truth.”
“God is awesome we give Him ALL the glory!” she wrote.
Hi Tammy, God bless!
It's a fine line. Mom wrote the notes. It might be different if the child wrote the notes. At 7, the child is reaching the age he can write the notes too. If you consider the difference. I can see how it might be taken wrong. We don't know if the parents are familiar with each other. It's just that I remember my daughter going to school and coming home and someone shared a religious celebration with her class, and I hadn't been informed. Nobody asked me if it was okay. I asked for equal time, but it wouldn't surprise me if someone protested about what happened that day. From that moment on, the school sent home permission slips. I was taken off guard. I would have liked to discuss the subject with my child and be more informed. I found out after the fact. People get a little touchy when it comes to their children.
I'm not saying I like what happened. I feel the school went way overboard and C was picked on. At the end of the day, it's sharing a few Bible verses.
“Please tell your son that there is a separation of church and state,” the teacher reportedly told Christina."
Obviously that teacher doesn't fully understand the meaning of separation of church and state.
On the obvious note about the "misconduct" of the child....the Bible has told us whats going to come down the pike, I believe it and it's only going to continue to get much much worse. This is time for prayer and to continue to stand strong in our faith and stand on rooftops, so to speak.
This is NOT a political issue, it is a Spiritual one, and the only way it can be addressed is to do what Ephesians 6 tells us to do.
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
21 But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:
22 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.
23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.
No she doesn't. I know it will get worse & we see it so quickly these days. Things I never thought I'd witness in my lifetime.
L0ve You Sis!
Love u 2
Amen Eric, on all points...
I'm curious, has Christina reached out to the parents of the other children involved? Did it say? Did I miss that part? I just think there's more to this and that maybe somebody's parents complained. Because if the other parents were supportive, you might see the school backing down. Normally it's kids talking during lunch, and kids can bring up a lot of topics. The school seems very confident in their stance.???
Mary, I looked deeper into this article & so far, the information that is above has been the same information on all sites & in all articles. We also need to remember that we're talking about California too. They are so far 'left' into the ocean that they need an immigration boat to even think about making it back to land. They desire to be so different & set apart that they need to be their own country.
Today, people have become so scared of what Christians bring to the table that they completely pin us down, burn our Bible, bolt the church doors & put duct tape over our mouths. What are they so scared of? What harm could we possibly do? Of course, I already know the answer. It's the work of the enemy & this battle has been going on since man & will continue to do so until the end.
I do want to give a huge shout out to this mama. Obviously, as for them & their house, they serve the Lord. Like Timothy, he held onto the teachings of his mama. It also shows the innocence & purity of the Word & how well receptive it is that the other children wanted to read it & wanted more.
Matt 18:4 Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
I agree Eric....political....to the world. But I would still stand on the fact that it is a Spiritual battle at the core. There are so many various things happening all at once and gaining momentum that I am glad people are starting to wake up....is it too late tho?
It is Spiritual at the core. That is something they must erode to work their voodoo .
Haha, I snickered at voodoo. I so enjoy reading your replies, you bring much to the table.
Doesn't he though?
I agree it is Spiritual at its core. I'm not surprised by it, but I am saddened.
This type of opposition strengthens my faith because it just proves more and more that what is written in the bible is true.
We (my family) live in an area that is predominately Muslim. I don't mind when my kids speak with kids of other faiths, because we talk about these things at home all the time. My older son in particular seems to get into deep discussions with kids of other faiths... likely because he is in public school. I'd like to think they are prepared for the things that come their way in this regard. I hope that when the time is right they can share the love, grace and forgiveness of Jesus to others. I hope they can articulate the difference between striving to earn one's own salvation thru good works VS the completed work on the cross that Jesus has already done for us.... If I have to earn my salvation by being 'good', how do I know when I've been 'good enough?'....and in the same breath, that they can share the importance of not taking advantage of God's goodness by continuing to sin, but rather having a desire to please HIM because we are grateful and we love Him.
It's delicate because we don't want to be stepped on as Christians in regards to our freedoms to worship Jesus etc... But yet, the bible tells us that we can expect to be persecuted and even hated for our faith.
It is difficult sometimes to accept the fact that many people will die without knowing Jesus.... That breaks my heart over every thing else. I wonder how we can use these difficult opportunities to show God's Love?
In North America we don't really even know what it means to be persecuted. I think we tend to classify rejection as persecution.