January 15, 2014
On December 19, a school teacher in Temecula, California told her first grade student, Brynn Williams, that she could not present her family's Christmas tradition of a star of Bethlehem at her school, according to local reports.
Brynn's class was assigned to do a 1-minute presentation about an object that best represents their family's Christmas tradition. When Brynn stood up to give her presentation, she began reciting a Bible verse just before the teacher interrupted and told her to ”go take your seat". She was the only student not allowed to finish her presentation.
"When this took place she was hurt," said Brynn's father Shane, "she felt that she had done something wrong and she was going to be punished."
Brynn's family has since sought legal counsel with Advocates for Faith & Freedom.
"The disapproval and hostility that Christian students have come to experience in our nation's public schools has become epidemic,” said Robert Tyler, general counsel for Advocates for Faith & Freedom, "I hope that (the school district ) will take the lead role in adopting a model policy to prohibit this abuse that has become all too common place for religious-minded students."
The Temecula Valley School District released only the following statement:
The Temecula Valley Unified School District respects all students' rights under the Constitution and takes very seriously any allegation of discrimination. Due to the fact that District officials are currently investigating the allegations, it would be inappropriate to provide further comment at this time.
This story broke shortly after advocates for religious freedom picked up on another controversial incident in a West Covina school district where another teacher prevented her student from bringing on campus "candy canes with a religious message".