Hostility towards religion, particularly Christianity, in public schools has increased dramatically in the past few years. Cases involving students being ridiculed and even reprimanded because of their Christian faith are on the rise.
As some of you may recall, Isaiah Martinez, a first grader in West Covina, Calif., brought Christmas gifts to school to share with his classmates. The gifts were candy canes with attached notes describing the legend of the candy canes. The legend tells the story of the candy maker who created candy canes to represent the life of Jesus Christ.
When Isaiah’s teacher saw what the note on the candy canes said, she confiscated them. After speaking with the principal, she told Isaiah that Jesus is not allowed in school. She then removed the notes at the direction of the principal and handed the candy canes back to Isaiah to distribute to the class. The teacher then threw the notes in the trash.
“Jesus is not allowed in school?” Isaiah was understandably confused and embarrassed by what happened in class that day. Fortunately, his parents reached out to us to learn if the school and administration’s actions were warranted.
We immediately sent a letter to the West Covina Unified School District demanding that the school apologize for how Isaiah was treated and demanded that it adopt a policy prohibiting school officials from discriminating against or intimidating Christian and other religiously-affiliated students, as is appropriate under the First Amendment of our Constitution.
The school conducted an investigation and substantially confirmed the facts as we presented, but the school district believed that their discriminatory actions were warranted. We then appealed to the school board requesting once again that Isaiah be allowed to hand out the candy canes and that they adopt a revised policy. After the school board denied our appeal, we appealed to the California Department of Education to no avail. The school has neglected to correct its actions, and after exhausting all options to avoid a lawsuit we were left with no choice but to file a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. By filing suit, we will be asking the court to protect Isaiah’s rights and the rights of others like him from having their faith censored.
It’s unfortunate when these situations arise and must be brought before a judge in order to rectify injustice. Please join us in prayer as we take Isaiah’s case to trial and pray for the strength and protection of Isaiah and his family. In return, we are more than happy to pray for you and your families, and welcome your prayer requests. Send prayer requests and any questions to info@Faith-Freedom.com.
If you’re tired of the way that Christians are marginalized in our country, and the increasing hostility towards Christians, please consider making a donation today. Your gift will go directly toward cases like Isaiah’s, and it will make an impact on the culture targeting people of faith today. We’re constantly stunned by the cases that come our way – primarily young students experiencing humiliation and discrimination simply because of their Christian faith. We ask for your support to continue our work protecting our First Amendment right to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
We are grateful for your support and words of encouragement for our team and clients. Isaiah and his family are blessed to receive the comfort and guidance of their pastor, Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, who also serves on our Board of Directors.
We are very fortunate to have Pastor Jack as our keynote speaker for Justice 2014! Please mark your calendars…
Entertainer and Emcee: Comedian Robert G. Lee Honored Guests: Tim and Beverly LaHaye