An Oklahoma mom made the brave decision to report her son’s public school when a teacher offered Bibles to the kids. Now, she is facing death threats and being ostracized by the very people she used to call friends.
Duncan is a small town in Oklahoma, which has become a place of controversy in recent weeks. The story first broke when Lea, mother of the child given the Bible, told her friend about the issue and her friend contacted the American Humanist Association (AHA). Within 48 hours, AHA contacted the school to advise them of the law separating church and state. As soon as this information was made public, Lea was accosted by the town.
The school did comply with the AHA recommendations and stated that they would talk to all the teachers. The school said they would prevent teachers from handing Bibles or any other religious material out to students during school hours. Unfortunately, even though the school agreed with Lea’s complaint, the people in the town of Duncan did not.
Koni, aka The Atheist Lady, first wrote about the story on Atheist Analysis. Koni interviewed Lea about the incident that occurred and what has happened to her and her family since. Lea has received death threats and her family is now a victim of “good Christian” bullying.
Lea stated, “I began to fear for mine and my son’s safety when I read “run her out of town” and “snitches end up in ditches.” I have the comments in an email, but I’d have to go through hundreds of comments to find them. I feared for my son when the parents all had their kids carry their Bibles to school one day, to prove a point. Kids are mean. I couldn’t let my son face that kind of ridicule for not having a Bible.”
Unfortunately, the threats and intimidation do not stop with the people in the parents of the children in the school. Lea is even facing discrimination at work by her supervisor making inappropriate comments about her other child, who does not even live in the state anymore.
“... A supervisor did post on Facebook that I have my daughter sacrifice cats. My daughter does not live in the state. She lives in Nevada, so that shows the huge amount of ignorance surrounding this,” Lea went on to explain.
After the interview was released on Atheist Analysis, it was picked up by Raw Story and The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. This created more national attention and even more negative attention towards Lea and her family. Koni did a face-to-face follow-up interview with Lea in Duncan, OK. During the interview, townspeople were gathering around; some shouting inaudible things during the interview and others giving them the middle finger.
Due to the unwanted negative attention, Lea had to pull her nine-year-old son out of school and is currently trying to move to a safer place. Her home is up for sale, but due to some structural problems, she will have a hard time selling it. So, Koni setup a GoFundMe account to get some funds together for Lea so she can begin the moving process.
I spoke with Lea about the recent events and how she is feeling surrounding this controversy. She said, “Things have calmed down, but that also makes me worry.” She is concerned that now the media attention is off of her and her family, the people of the town may feel more empowered to take action against her.
One person commented on a Facebook post about this situation saying that “drastic measures may need to be taken” against “progressives.”
All of this hate coming from “loving” Christians who are supposed to be following the teachings of their Christ. Lea does have moral support from atheists across the country, but it is the local community where she lives that is the problem. She cannot even go to the grocery store without people glaring at her. Her son had to be pulled out of school because she feared that the other kids would bully him. No one should have to live like this, especially a child. The 1st Amendment protects people’s personal beliefs, but what Lea and others are trying to show is that it does not allow people to force others to agree with those beliefs. We need more people like Lea to stand up for those rights, especially for the children.
Photo Credits: Patheos