A high-school teacher displayed two items in his public-school classroom: a nativity scene and a doll of the Grinch. During class he pointed to the nativity and declared that it was for those who shared his Christian faith, and then pointed to the Grinch and said that it was for all those who did not. AU wrote a letter of complaint that explained that it is unconstitutional for a public-school teacher to erect religious displays and to make disparaging comments about minority religions.
A math teacher at Adena High School displayed proselytizing Christian pamphlets beside the pencil sharpener in his classroom, played Christian worship songs during class, and used a copy of the Bible as a hall-pass. In response to a complaint about this behavior, AU sent a letter to the school district, explaining that it is unconstitutional for teachers to proselytize to students, to distribute religious materials to students, or to erect religious displays in public-school classrooms.
AU received a complaint that an elementary-school art teacher made several religiously proselytizing comments to second-grade students. According to our complainant, after a lesson on the ancient Egyptian practice of including small personal artifacts in tombs in order to facilitate entry into heaven, the teacher told the class that they had no need for this practice because they “had Jesus,” and then informed students that Jesus saved millions of people. She also recounted to students the Biblical creation story.
AU received a complaint that several teachers at Hawthorne High School were leaders in Young Life ministry — a religious club — and actively promoted Young Life to students during the school day. These teachers displayed Young Life posters in their classrooms, wore Young Life apparel, distributed Young Life flyers, announced Young Life meetings to students during class, and transformed honors and AP study-group sessions at their homes into impromptu Young Life meetings. AU wrote a complaint letter about these practices to the school district in October 2007.
AU received a complaint that a keyboarding teacher at a Cobb County Middle School made several proselytizing comments to eighth-grade students and appeared to be tailoring her curriculum to comport with her religious views.
AU received complaints regarding a religious affirmation written on the classroom whiteboard at a high school on a U.S. military base in Seoul, South Korea. The affirmation stated, "When we draw near to God, our minds are refreshed and our strength is renewed." In a letter to school officials, AU explained that the affirmation, which was visible to students, was inappropriate in a government-funded school. According to our complainants, after receiving our letter, the teacher erased the affirmation from the whiteboard and has not repeated the violation.