A school district in California is investigating one of its teachers after receiving a complaint that he was distributing Bible cookies in class to encourage students to read the Bible and attend an after-school Bible club. One of the district’s high school students contacted Americans United for Separation of Church and State to complain about the teacher, after which, the group advocating church-state separation sent a letter to Manteca Unified District alleging John Alameda at New Vision High School was, as a matter of fact, violating the American Constitution by distributing Bible cookies in class.
The letter was sent to Jason Messer, Manteca Unified District Superintendent and Sonya Arellano, New Vision Principal. Alex Luchenitser, associate legal director at Americans United for Separation of Church and State, who sent the letter, later clarified that the school District had acknowledged his complaint and said that it would investigate the matter.
“We understand that Alameda not only sponsors the [Bible] club but also shares his Christian beliefs during school hours and frequently encourages his students to attend the club's meetings,” said Luchenitser. “Furthermore, he offers extra credit for copying Bible verses and gives students 'Bible cookies' as a reward for completing class assignments. We write to inform you that these actions violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”
However, supporters of Alameda have come out in support of the teacher’s actions.
Jake MacAulay, chief operating officer at the Institute on the Constitution, said, “This is just another attack on Christianity. … We should not be afraid of these attacks. As a matter of fact, we should use them as stepping-stones to set the higher standard of education and Constitutional awareness that unfortunately escapes many well-intended, good-thinking Americans.”
The school district issued a statement earlier this month saying it was looking into the matter.
“The Manteca Unified School District is currently conducting an investigation into the complaint,” read the statement. “While respecting the diversity and beliefs of our community, the Manteca Unified School District is dedicated to ensure the separation of Church and State as prescribed by law.”
Photo Credits: Inquisitr