A public school teacher in Stanislaus County, California, gave a homework assignment to her fifth grade students to write two poems on any subject and turn them in the next day. Since it was just before the Christmas break, Kali decided to write her two poems about the holiday season. She wrote one poem about reindeer and another about Jesus. When Kali turned in her assignment the next day, her teacher rejected the poem about Jesus and informed her that she would have to redo her assignment because, “You can’t write about Jesus in school.” Kali rewrote her poem and then school was out on Christmas break. In January, when her parents were getting her ready for the first day back to school after the Christmas break, they found Kali’s Jesus poem crossed out and saw that no credit was given on this assignment.
Her stepfather, Kyle Thomas, called one of our attorneys here at Advocates for Faith & Freedom to inquire about his stepdaughter’s legal right to write about Jesus. After learning from attorney Marty Nicholson that expressing disapproval or hostility toward religion or toward religious viewpoints expressed by students is against the law, Mr. Thomas met with school officials. Knowing that Advocates was ready and willing to represent his daughter’s religious freedoms, Mr. Thomas was able to explain to the school representatives that his daughter’s homework should not have been rejected.
We are happy to report that the school officials agreed and allowed the poem to be recorded for full credit. We’re proud of you Kali! Here is her beautiful poem: