A teacher at the East Pennsboro Middle School is now being scrutinized for wearing a necklace with the Star of David, after two students reportedly complained about the religious emblem. Now one parent is taking action against the teacher’s alleged disregard for the separation of church and state. According to ABC-27, Ernest Perce recently filed a complaint with the East Pennsboro Area School District in Enola, Pennsylvania, because he personally feels the teacher has violated the law.
In 1949, Act 14 (Sect.1112) prohibited teachers in public school from wearing any type of religion emblems or symbols. Displays of such imagery in classrooms is also prohibited. So, of course, Perce is depending on the law to back the claims he stated in the complaint.
Although Perce admitted he was once an “outspoken atheist” until about two years ago, he made it clear he is now an Orthodox Christian. However, he adamantly supports maintaining the separation of church and state.
“They are there to learn about education, not to learn about the religious points of view. If a child is subjected to a teacher where a symbol of Judaism is allowed to skirt the law, I believe that a Muslim should be allowed to cover her head as well as a Christian to cover her head like the Bible commands.”
The school’s district attorney also issued a response to Perce’s request. Surprisingly, the school district spoke out in support of the teacher. The school will not “discontinue wearing the religious symbol.” Needless to say, Perce definitely wasn’t pleased with the decision.
Although the 1949 act is still effective, there is also a western Pennsylvania ruling that permits teacher assistants to wear a Christian cross.
However, Perce plans to take things a step further. He stated if the board does not comply with the 1949 act, it could be fined and the teacher could face suspension. Perce has reportedly removed his child from the classroom.
Do you think the teacher should be forced to stop wearing the necklace? Share your thoughts.