A California teacher is under fire for allegedly distributing “Bible cookies” in the classroom.
In addition to handing out the cookies, a complaint received by the Manteca Unified District said that students — egad! — were also urged to look up Bible verses and attend an after-school Bible club, according to the Christian Post.
The D.C.-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State lodged a complaint against New Vision High School teacher John Alameda, charging him with violating the U.S. Constitution, the Post reported.
“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,” wrote Alex Luchenitser, associate legal director at Americans United.
“Furthermore, he offers extra credit for copying Bible verses and gives students Bible cookies as a reward for completing class assignments,” he continued. “We write to inform you that these actions violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”
The school district issued a statement saying it is conducting an investigation into the complaint, and it respects the “diversity and beliefs” of the community, but is “dedicated to ensure the separation of Church and State as prescribed by law,” according to Fox affiliate KTXL.
Jake MacAulay, chief operating officer of the Institute on the Constitution, defended Alameda’s action.
“This is just another attack on Christianity,” MacAulay said, according to the Post. “These attacks have become a pet of media and paper-tiger, un-American, atheist groups. 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.”
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