Teacher banned from using historic documents due to God reference

A California school threw “aside all common sense” in its decision to ban a teacher from providing students with handouts of historical documents because they include references to God, says lawyer Gary McCaleb.

McCaleb serves with the Alliance Defense Fund, which filed suit Tuesday against California's Cupertino Union School District after school principal Patricia Vidmar told a teacher that he could not distribute historical documents that mentioned God.

The principal of Stevens Creek Elementary School ordered the Christian teacher – but no others – to submit his lesson plans and handouts for review.

Some of the documents rejected by the principal included excerpts from the Declaration of Independence, the diaries of George Washington and John Adams, writings from William Penn and various state constitutions.

"Throwing aside all common sense, the district has chosen to censor men such as George Washington and documents like the Declaration of Independence," said McCaleb, senior counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund. "The district's actions conflict with American beliefs and are completely unconstitutional."

The California Education Code allows "references to religion or the use of religious literature ‘when such references or uses do not constitute instruction in religious principles’ and when such references or uses are incidental to or illustrative of matter properly included in the course of study."

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