Earlier this month, in Duncan, Oklahoma, Woodrow Wilson Elementary School teacher Erica Mackey announced she had a surprise for her third-grade students:
The student reports that Mrs. Mackey announced that she had “the holy Bible” and asked if anyone would like one. Nearly all the students walked up to her desk and she handed them out. After seeing his classmates take Bibles from the teacher, the child felt peer-pressured and coerced to do the same.
Thankfully, that child told his mother, and she contacted the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center. They sent a letter to the district explaining how church/state separation works.
They did say, however, that they would allow passive distribution of religious materials for high school students (in other words, they would permit an outside group to set up a table with Bibles). And just as we saw in Florida, a Satanic church quickly requested permission to distribute materials. Hilarious.
Anyway, the mother who initially informed the AHA about the Bible distribution is named Lea and it turns out, following the backlash from this whole debacle, she decided to pull her son out of Duncan Public Schools.
Koni, a blogger at Atheist Analysis, interviewed Lea about what’s happened over the past month and her responses are just heartbreaking:
Koni: Did the possibility of retaliation [from Christians] cross your mind?
Lea: Not once.
Koni: I suppose you didn’t really have time to consider that possibility. At what point did you begin to fear for the safety of your child and yourself?
Lea: I began to fear for mine and my sons 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.
Koni: “Snitches end up in ditches?” That is certainly unnerving. I can’t imagine anyone feeling safe with people openly making death threats, like that. Do you have plans to move out of the community?
Lea: Yes. My house is for sale.
Ugh… and all because Lea opposed an illegal Bible distribution in her son’s classroom. She did the right thing and Christians (presumably full of the love of Christ) have pressured her to move away and pull her child out of school. He’s currently under the supervision of another homeschooling mother. It’s unclear what they’ll do with him next year.