The Desert Rose Elementary School in Palmdale, California “severely abused a first grader’s constitutional rights”, according to a press release put out by The Liberty Counsel Thursday.
The boy’s mother, Christina Zavala, put a Bible verse on a sticky note in her son’s packed lunch everyday along with a short story to provide context for the verses.
Christina’s son, known as “C”, began sharing notes with other children during lunch, but that all came to an end when a young girl showed one note to her teacher saying it was “the most beautiful story she had ever seen”, at which point the teacher told C he could no longer share notes at lunch.
Instead he was told to “wait until after school to share with his friends at the front gate,” which he did.
Mrs. Zavala wrote a letter to the school on April 19 once she heard about this request, but was never answered.
Apparently the school received the letter, because days after it was sent C returned home in tears after being reprimanded in front of his whole class for sharing his mom’s notes and his religious beliefs once again.
Complying with the new “rules” laid out by his teacher, C grew a daily following of around 15 students that also enjoyed reading the Bible verses by the gate after school.
On May 9th the school’s Principal Melanie Pagliaro approached C’s father, Jaime Zavala, insisting they “leave school property completely and continue on a public sidewalk”, to which the father promptly complied.
Later that very same day a Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff knocked on the Zavala family door and directed C to stop sharing notes because “someone might be offended,” a clear violation of the child’s First Amendment rights.
It was at this point that the parents decided to seek legal advice and contacted The Liberty Counsel.
A similar story in the news this week, where a nine-year-old is barred from wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat to school, proves now is the time for young Americans to stand up for what they believe in, no matter how they may be persecuted by their peers or elders.
Written by Kelen McBreen