October 29, 2015
Texas Seventh-Grader Told 'God Is A Myth' By English Teacher, Her Parents Complain

The parents of a Texas tween are outraged after their seventh-grade daughter was told by her teacher that God is a myth, the Washington Post is reporting.

Twelve-year-old Jordan Wooley says that during her Reading class Monday at West Memorial Junior High School in Katy, Texas, her teacher handed out an assignment: a handful of statements, such as "The fastest land-dwelling creature is the Cheetah," or "America is the most free country on earth." The kids were to respond to each statement with one of three choices: either "opinion," "factual claim," or "common assertion."

The assignment was meant to spark the kids' critical thinking skills. But there was a problem: One of the statements on the assignment was "There is a God." Jordan and several of the other kids answered that the existence of God is a fact. Their teacher disagreed.

Jordan says that she insisted to her teacher that God is not a myth, the teacher kept arguing with her.

"She told anyone who said fact or opinion is wrong and that God is only a myth. She started telling kids that they were completely wrong and when kids would argue she had told them that we would get in trouble. When I tried to argue she told me to prove it and I tried to offer things such as the Bible and stories that I've read before from people who have died and went to Heaven, but have come back and told their stories."

It wasn't just Jordan who was upset at her teacher. As the class discussion about God went on, several students started crying, according to KRIV (Houston). One girl slammed her books down on the desk and said, through tears, that she wanted the discussion to stop. After class, Jordan texted her mom, Chantel Wooley, about the discussion.

Mrs. Wooley went to the school on Monday to complain to the principal, then went to the school board meeting on Wednesday night. She and Jordan spoke about their displeasure at a seventh-grader being told that God is a myth in a public school.

When Jordan was done speaking, Superintendent Alton Frailey apologized to her, thanked her for speaking, and promised that the school board would look into the matter.

Jordan's story soon caught on with social media, and the hashtag #IStandWithJordan became popular on Twitter. Her story even caught the attention of Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

Unfortunately, some observers of this story responded with vitriol and hate toward the teacher -- a fact that was not unnoticed by the Katy Independent School District. Nevertheless, the school district investigated the matter and spoke with the teacher. In a statement, the district stood by the teacher's claim that the assignment was merely meant to inspire critical thinking in the kids and not intended as a treatise on the existence (or not) of God.

"The teacher is distraught by this incident, as some commentary has gone as far as to vilify her without knowing her, her Christian faith, or the context of the classroom activity. Still, this does not excuse the fact that this ungraded activity was ill-conceived and because of that, its intent had been misconstrued. As a result, the activity will no longer be used by the school, and appropriate personnel action will be taken."

Do you think this Texas teacher was wrong to try to use the existence of God as a basis for teaching critical thinking skills? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

[Image via Shutterstock/www.billionphotos.com]