***Update*** (10/17/19): The school has said they will not be taking kids on the trip. We don’t know what they’ll do instead, but that’s a victory for church/state separation.
A group of first graders from the Cherokee Community School District in Iowa are taking a field trip later this week to see the play “Jonah and the Giant Fish” (about the biblical myth) at Northwestern College (a private Christian college) during the school day.
Somehow, none of those glaring red flags inspired the adults at Roosevelt Elementary School to say this was a bad idea.
… not only will RES students be taken to an avowedly Christian institution, but they will do so for the express purpose of seeing a Christian-themed play. The risk that these children will perceive a school endorsement of a religious message should be readily apparent.
We hope that you will replace this school field trip with something more appropriate, where children and parents of all religions, and no religion at all, will be properly respected. We also remind you that any actions that might be considered punitive or retaliatory toward those raising concerns about the matters described herein would be unlawful as well.
Attorney Monica Miller wants an answer by Wednesday, which is reasonable given that it gives them two days to rearrange their plans.
I’m all for students getting exposed to the arts, but there are better ways to introduce them to mythology than taking them to see a play where the end goal is to convince them the Bible is true. When the teachers are this ignorant, you have to wonder what they’re teaching the kids.
(Image via Shutterstock)