Patterico's Pontifications

4/2/2008

Student Sues Teacher for Anti-Christian Rant (Updated)

Filed under: Education — DRJ @ 4:37 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

From Fox News:

“A student and his family have filed a federal lawsuit demanding that a popular European history teacher at California’s Capistrano Valley High School be fired for what they say were anti-Christian remarks he made in the classroom.

Chad Farnan, a 16-year-old sophomore, says the teacher, James Corbett, told his students that “Jesus glasses” obscure the truth and suggested that Christians are more likely than other people to commit rape and murder.

Farnan recorded his teacher telling students in class: “What country has the highest murder rate? The South! What part of the country has the highest rape rate? The South! What part of the country has the highest rate of church attendance? The South!” Farnan said he took the tape recorder to class to supplement his class notes.

“It was very hard for me because it’s like basically telling me all this stuff that I’ve believed my whole entire life — it’s just basically trying to throw it out the window,” Farnan told FOX News.

Farnan’s family has filed a federal lawsuit against the Capistrano Unified School District, claiming Corbett’s remarks violated the First Amendment, which prohibits laws “respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” They are demanding that Corbett be fired.”

It sounds a little anti-Southern, too, but the teacher asserts he was only challenging his students to think:

“Corbett’s attorney, Dan Spradlin, says his client has been teaching at Capistrano Valley High for 15 years and is in no way anti-Christian. According to Spradlin, Corbett was not trying to offend anyone but to inspire his students to think.

“The purpose is not to indoctrinate, but simply to provide a basic starting point to provoke discussion,” Spradlin said.”

I wonder if this teacher also starts discussions by commenting on the connection between Islam and terrorists?

UPDATE 4/2/2008: Too bad these students couldn’t have a teacher like Kenton Stufflebeam’s Mr. Chapman, who would never give students bad information.

— DRJ

72 Responses to “Student Sues Teacher for Anti-Christian Rant (Updated)”

  1. the teacher asserts he was only challenging his students to think:

    And he did. At least one has started to think “Lawsuit!!!”

    Hope this jack-hole gets his ass fired, and the school district has to pay out a PILE of money…

    I wonder if this teacher also starts discussions by commenting on the connection between Islam and terrorists?

    For some silly reason, I doubt it…

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  2. I’m not going to defend the teacher, but just how did his actions keep the kid from practicing his religion (or establish a state religion or anything else contrary to the so-called separation of church and state)? And not withstanding the rules applying what does and doesn’t go on in schools, what about the teacher’s first amendment right to say what he thinks about religion? So the poor kid had his feelings hurt… big whoop. And rather than telling him to get over it, his family rushes to court, seeking to establish the kid’s right to not have to hear things that run counter to what he has heard his entire life.

    And Scott, while I would guess the teacher doesn’t rail against Islam, were he to do so, I wonder if those upset about this particular case are equally respectful of the hurt feelings of Muslim students, like those who are upset with anyone who dares to suggest a connection between Islam and violence?

    Had the teacher done so, would this kid’s family be demanding he be fired, just as they are for the teacher’s allegedly anti-Christian commentary? Or would they be saying ‘damn right, about time somebody said that’?

    stevesturm (8caabf)

  3. He should be dismissed for his ridiculous assertion that “The South”, having a high rate of… whatever AND a high rate of participation in Christian belief is somehow a causal relationship. This is teaching?

    How does that jibe with the fact that Detroit, America’s leader in big-city murder is one of the most liberal in the country? Are non-church-going ,city dwelling, Liberals are more likely to commit murder than everyone else?

    And shall we discuss who supports the murder of the unborn? Christians or liberals?

    Sack this jerk. God knows what he’s been up to for the last 15 years…

    Anon 1:50 (8f0cbc)

  4. Steve Sturm,

    The article notes that, before they sued, the Farnans first filed a complaint with the school district that was dismissed.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  5. Farnan recorded his teacher telling students in class: “What country has the highest murder rate? The South!”

    Aside from being geographically confused, his logical fallacies are a tad troubling.

    In order to arrive at his ‘conclusion’ by using the murderer/rapist comparisons, the teacher would have had to know how many of the murderers and rapists were Christians when they committed their crimes and then be able to know what percentage of murders/rapists are not church going. He is lacking so much necessary info to even try to make the point.

    Another problem is his assumption that people attending church in the south are Christians. This is not always true. These hasty generalizations shoot down his arguments.

    (Its been to long and I can longer remember the correct terms of logic that apply to this but basically my point is is that his attempted conclusion is a load of crap).

    p.s. he also did not define his terms:

    “obscure the truth” What truth? His?

    Dana (fba430)

  6. There is no good reason for this teacher to be making those statements. Capo Valley HIgh School has a lot of problems and this doesn’t help. My daughter would go there (based on our residence) except I pay a lot to send her to Catholic high school. I did it so she could get a better education. This adds one more reason I didn’t have before. In spite of being in an affluent community, Capo Valley kids cannot get into UC schools without having mostly AP classes. Not a good record

    Mike K (86bddb)

  7. “what about the teacher’s first amendment right to say what he thinks about religion?”

    What a teacher says in a classroom is a job performance issue, not a first amendment issue.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  8. Field Trip to the Creation museum!

    stef (23c2b4)

  9. Change some of the words. Change the South to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, or the PLO territories. And where appropriate remove Christian terms and insert Mohammad, Muslims, Islam, Mosque attendance and tell me that the same people would be arguing the teacher should keep his job.

    Adam Graham (f3014d)

  10. The teacher doesn’t have a first ammendement right here due to his authority role.The schools rules say so.It would not be a open equal debate. HIs motive is clear. He’s not just trying to “provoke discussion”. For some reason, it seems to be ok to bash Christianty. That time is coming to an end. Ever since the movement away from Christianity,morals,values, etc the U.S. has gone to crap. So much violence,drugs, and overrun prisons.
    There is no “seperation of Church and State”. Those exact words that are quoted(mis-quoted) were ACTUALLY intended to keep the governemnt out of the Church and setting up a state religion. It was not intended to keep the Church out of the govt. Even one of the Founding Fathers(forgot which one but you can find it by researching) said our current judicial system would not work if the basic principles of the Bible or Christianity were not adhered to. Seem like thats happened?? YEP.

    Kenny (a08d70)

  11. Dana and Anon are correct. He should be fired because he’s a lousy teacher.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  12. how did his actions keep the kid from practicing his religion

    Irrelevant. This issue is not the student’s ability to practice his religion, but government preference for or against a particular religion.

    And not withstanding the rules applying what does and doesn’t go on in schools, what about the teacher’s first amendment right to say what he thinks about religion?

    The teacher relinquishes much of his first amendment right to freedom of speech when he acts in his position as a representative of the school (i.e. government) speaking to a captive audience of impressionable youth.

    There is no “seperation of Church and State”. Those exact words that are quoted(mis-quoted) were ACTUALLY intended to keep the governemnt out of the Church and setting up a state religion.

    The terms “congressional district”, “electoral college”, “judicial review”, “marriage”, “political party”, “right to privacy”, “right to vote”, and “separation of powers clause” also do not appear in the Constitution. That doesn’t mean that they don’t exist in our political and legal systems.

    aunursa (4c8f82)

  13. and suggested that Christians are more likely than other people to commit rape and murder.

    I keep forgetting… Is the spoken word slander, or libel? :)

    And aunursa, I’m pretty sure there’s at least one Amendment that covers the rightto vote…

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  14. I suppose if you can sue for “one Nation under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, you can sue for this nonsense. What the damages are … I suppose I would grant this kid and his family six cents were I to find that they had a First Amendment right not to hear something that they did not want to hear.

    nk (34c5da)

  15. Odds are the Teacher doesn’t even get suspended. I’ll bet you money he’s tenured. While that doesn’t make it impossible to fire him, the odds are good the district is too lazy to do the work.

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  16. Oh come on, Scott. Why should he be fired? Seriously. These are 16-year olds. At age 16, my High School Chemistry teacher taught us how to ferment raisins and sugar and distill alcohol, and how to make smokeless gunpowder. At an interlude, he told us to be careful drinking in a bar because after the first drink you cannot tell the difference. You ask for Jack Daniels and your first drink is Jack Daniels but after that the bartender serves you Early Times and charges you for Jack Daniels.

    This lawsuit is total horse-puckey.

    nk (34c5da)

  17. So informing a class that a christian is more likely to rape/murder is just fine?

    I might not be MUCH of a christian these days, but I’m enough of one that even I’m kind of offended by that…

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  18. So just what kind of thought police, exactly, do you like? Because, I’ll tell you, that America is “one nation under God” will be a lot harder to prove in Court than Christians’ propensity for rape and murder. Keeping in mind that we are talking about sixteen-year olds. But even younger, the solution to teachers saying shit is parents telling their children when their teachers are full of shit.

    nk (34c5da)

  19. So just what kind of thought police, exactly, do you like?

    You know, I’d settle for not telling the classmates of christians that the “jesus freak” is likely to rape and murder them…

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  20. I guess there’s no law against massive stupidity, so they had to go with the first Amendment instead….

    How much do you want to be that the lawsuit was mostly to get the school’s attention?

    This sort of slanderous nonsense attacking a religion should NOT be allowed.

    Now, it MIGHT have been justified if the SOB had done his homework, and could actually show some evidence for the things listed in #5 by Dana.

    In fact, I might try something like this to start a discussion, maybe lie with statistics by saying “Well, X% of people here are Christian church-goers, and that’s Y% more than this area that has lower rape rates, thus Christians rape more often.”
    Mostly for the shocked silence, then you show them how to think critically and disembowel the idea.
    More likely, I’d just use my mom’s “carrots are poisonous” example….

    Reply to those who jump up and down saying “if this was Islam, you would defend him!!!”
    If he was arguing this stupidly, I would attack him. If he used actual evidence– which is far from lacking– then, yes, I would defend him.

    Foxfier (74f1c8)

  21. Change the South to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, or the PLO territories. And where appropriate remove Christian terms and insert Mohammad, Muslims, Islam, Mosque attendance and tell me that the same people would be arguing the teacher should keep his job.

    Yes, they just might do that. But they’d be supporting him in conjunction with a lawsuit quite likely brought by CAIR, an Arab family, or a non-Arab Muslim family. You could clearly see that, right? I mean this is the most litigious nation on earth it seems. Of course, that’s maybe because we can’t just go around socking the meanies in the jaw like Jimmy Stewart did in the old movies. Take that you chiseling weasel. He won’t bother you anymore, Martha. Here’s your deed back, you’ll be fine now.

    But now it’s so many jaws, and too little time. And then, too, my goal is to stay invisible, or at least stay way under anyone’s radar. I’ve been paying attention when you lawyers talk law.

    allan (ea9b6d)

  22. challenge someone’s way of thinking by trying to impress upon them a stereotype? wow, the left has gone way over the edge

    chas (04683b)

  23. This is the same school district who’s Superintendant, and the Board, kept an “enemies list” over a recall election, and the Super, and I believe, the Chairwoman of the Board, have now been indicted and charged in a state court on felonies for their conduct in office.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  24. Its also the same school district where the school board approved a 11.4% pay raise to said Superintendent (who accepted) just hours before a public board meeting where it was announced that 400+ jobs would be cut due to Cali’s budget debacle…two days later after the enormous outcry, the Supv. turned down the raise…

    Dana (fba430)

  25. I didn’t even know ‘the South!’ was a country!

    Further, I doubt the data. People in the south who rape, rape once. Not so in Cali and the east coast.

    Kevin (57a31b)

  26. Scott Jacobs: And aunursa, I’m pretty sure there’s at least one Amendment that covers the rightto vote…

    The constitution indicates that people cannot be denied the right to vote based on various classes, such as race and gender. It does not, however, explicitly affirm a right to vote. Aside from the various amendments, the qualifications for voters are left to each state to determine.

    aunursa (4c8f82)

  27. The man’s a bigot and a disgrace to the public school system. Competent administrators would either correct him effectively or, failing that, fire him.

    That said, I’m no fan of federal court lawsuits to enforce First Amendment rights against schools. Had young Master Farnan and his parents consulted me, I would have worked very, very hard to secure a resolution of their dispute that did not require filing suit. Not every violation of a federal constitutional right ought to become a federal lawsuit, and the most creative of alternative dispute resolution techniques ought to be exhausted before such a lawsuit is brought.

    As it is, this lawsuit will only harden the opinions of bigots like Corbett, and not much of anyone is likely to profit (financially or otherwise) except for the lawyers.

    Beldar (c7d2f9)

  28. Beldar– I’m curious: what other options were there? They’d already been dismissed by the school district, despite having audio evidence that I should *hope* is not normal or acceptable….

    Foxfier (74f1c8)

  29. If the guy had said what he said about Scientology, he’d have already LOST the lawsuit…

    8)

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  30. #27 – exactly, this is why we have local school districts and not federal control. however, the article states that they were brushed off at the local level so what recourse could they have had other than the federal lawsuit? and im asking that in seriousness because i dont know what the next appropriate level would be.

    chas (04683b)

  31. The guy needs to be fired, but as I and others have said before, it should be related to his performance as an educator, not because somebody’s offended. I couldn’t care less about someone’s offense level – it only invites PC BS that chills free speech and subsequently stifles discussion and the flow of information.

    The teacher mentioned that he was merely trying to start a “discussion”. Bull. He got caught pontificating and not educating. There’s no time for that crap. This post by DRJ pretty much covers the problems with education today. Idiot teachers and litigious parents – and nobody taught to think.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  32. stevesturm wrote:
    “how did his actions keep the kid from practicing his religion (or establish a state religion or anything else contrary to the so-called separation of church and state)?”

    — You’re correct, although you may want to keep in mind that liberal interpretations of the 1st Amendment have (ironically, given the probable political affiliations in this case) muddied the issue.

    “And not withstanding [sic] the rules applying what does and doesn’t go on in schools, what about the teacher’s first amendment right to say what he thinks about religion?”

    — You answered your own question in the clause that proceeded it. School policy (or school district policy) should have something to say on this. If the school had no policy (doubtful), or failed to enforce an existing policy (most likely), then there’s a problem. Also, the 1st Amendment does not give citizens the right to say anything, anyplace, anytime they want.

    Missed It By THAT Much (0fedd5)

  33. nk,

    “I suppose I would grant this kid and his family six cents were I to find that they had a First Amendment right not to hear something that they did not want to hear.”

    — So, how would this work? The teacher sends home a note, or sends the parents an email, explaining that he plans to say something ignorant and offensive the next day? He’d have to do it that way; otherwise, how could they possibly exercise their right not to hear it?

    “the solution to teachers saying shit is parents telling their children when their teachers are full of shit.”

    — That’s an okay principle, as far as it goes. I’m guessing that most parents don’t want to spend significant amounts of their parenting time ATTEMPTING to deprogram their children from the rantings of a teacher with an agenda. Again, the school has every right to enact a standards-of-behavior policy.

    Missed It By THAT Much (0fedd5)

  34. “I didn’t even know ‘the South!’ was a country!”

    They lost, but it took a while for them to get used to that fact.

    stef (ca2b75)

  35. “I didn’t even know ‘the South!’ was a country!”

    That made me think of that American Idol gal on that 5th grader show, and Miss South Carolina.

    JD (75f5c3)

  36. MIBTM #33,

    I don’t entirely disagree with you. I am now having to fight with my daughter over the food pyramid they are teaching her in school. I want her to have high nutritional value foods — meat, dairy, fruits and vegetables — primarily. Breads, pastas, cereals and such in much smaller amounts than they recommend. And she refuses to even taste butter.

    nk (34c5da)

  37. Would this be a First Amendment issue if the teacher had used “blacks” instead of “Christians”?

    I agree with nk in that there is no First Amendment right not to hear what you don’t want to hear. However, what the teacher said was offensive, bigoted, and just plain wrong. There must be some way to redress this wrong, some disciplinary action against the teacher.

    Steverino (e00589)

  38. This teacher was trying to get the students to think and he displays such a poor example of it himself? Like the blind leading the blind. “A and B are present in a population therefore B caused A” is crap thinking. I wouldn’t want that clown to teach in any school in the country. What if he had explained the things he does not like by pointing out that the south has the highest density of a particular minority group? Of course the logic is the same but it doesn’t fit the trendy meme, does it?

    quasimodo (edc74e)

  39. JD, do you mean County Singer, Kellie Pickler?

    PCD (5ebd0e)

  40. Had this teacher made similar comments about Islam and a Muslim student filed suit, many of you would be singing a different tune.

    Paul S. (8cbb16)

  41. This issue has been played out in the local papers for months. Rest assured this was not a result of a solitary comment uttered in isolation. This represents a continuing pattern of what he called provocative statements to get his students engaged. It just so happens that he thinks he can only engage his students through bashing Christianity. As noted above, somehow it never crosses his mind to bash Moslems, or athiests, or secular liberals.

    The parents and student did try to have the district address this problem, but the district responded by denying the claim and by suggesting that the student could face criminal charges for using a recording device in the classroom. Apparently under the California education statutes explicit permission must be granted by the teacher before a student may use a recording device in class. So the Capo district took a plea for an adult to rein in this bigoted teacher and turned it around and threatened the student with a criminal charge. Huh?

    BTW here is another example of the intelligence of the “we can do no wrong” school board. In a time when class sizes are rising, kids attend classes in portable classrooms (trailers)and teacher layoffs happen annually, the board decided to build a new $32MM HQ building on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean – complete with all the high end features you’d expect that out-of-touch bureaucrats feeding off taxpayers would demand.

    in_awe (cde03b)

  42. PCD – Is she the dumb one? If so, yup.

    That teacher is an asshat, and I certainly think he should be disciplined. Fired, not so much.

    I am not sure where I am on the lawsuit though. If the parents worked to pursue something through the school district, and were summarily denied, then they did not have a lot of alternatives left. I cannot stand civil lawsuits where there is not demonstrable damages, but at that same time, I have to admit a little joy in seeing a Lib have to answer for spewing their bile.

    JD (75f5c3)

  43. “Jesus glasses”, “the South”, connecting the dots to rape…in order to get students to “engage”.

    Contextualizing indoctrination of children toward hatred seems to be in vogue these days.

    I’m left to imagine what may, might or could have happened to young Mr. Farnan’s grade had he vigorously argued an opposing viewpoint. Who would he complain to as an “A” student who received a “C” because he didn’t “comprehend” his lessons as well as other students.

    How many 16 year olds would sacrifice the trouble it would cause to disagree?

    Indoctrination is a problem because of the implicit threat inherent in the methodology.

    Spurring discussion about stereotypes and how and why they are wrong…or demand strict proof…by stereotyping…and forcing a challenge by a 16 year old kid….OR ELSE LEAVING THE STEREOTYPE UNCORRECTED…sure smacks of indoctrination toward hatred to me.

    Did this teacher leave the stereotype as issued, or did he work his way through to its illogical conclusion as an exercise in thinking?

    The “I wanted them to engage” argument only works…if he teaches them it’s ok to engage. And how to engage. If he leaves the “message” as is…he’s a liar and a coward.

    cfbleachers (4040c7)

  44. About the update. Not a big surprise. Kids catch all kinds of mistakes all the time. Which is why we need teachers who, after they “get students to think” are willing to let the student speak up and be right. How many teachers will allow their students to speak truth to authority?

    A friend of mine is a herpetologist, been on for 20 years now, and he was giving a competitive herpetology lab practical, complete with pickled specimens etc. at a Science Olympiad at his school. He said that all these 13-17 year olds who were competing knew INSANE amounts of information based on the web and their field guides which one pair had apparently MEMORIZED. He told me that his biggest fear was that the students would find all sorts of identification mistakes in the specimens (which he had checked himself)… and roll their eyes at him.

    EdWood (c2268a)

  45. Sorry for getting back to this late, sometimes one just has to work…

    I know the teacher has limited rights in the classroom, my jibe about the teacher’s first amendment rights was intended as a ‘pot, meet kettle’ to the kid demanding the teacher keep from expressing his views in order to avoid interfering with the kid’s religious first amendment rights. If the teacher surrenders some rights in the classroom, shouldn’t the same hold true for the students?

    And to my bigger point, that we get bent out of shape when a teacher (or someone similar) makes disparaging comments about ‘our’ religion, while at the same time having no problem criticizing Muslims who object to anyone who dares criticize Islam, does anyone want to argue that this isn’t another case of ‘pot, meet kettle’? If we’re going to support the right of a Danish publisher to print cartoons mocking Mohammad, then aren’t we hypocrites if we don’t support the rights of those who mock Jesus and Christianity?

    steve sturm (40e5a6)

  46. Apples and oranges. The teacher has the same First Amendment rights as anyone else on his own time. As a school teacher, though, he’s an arm of the state, while the kid is there as a private citizen.

    Xrlq (b71926)

  47. I hate to tell you this, but (assuming the South is a “country” that includes New Mexico and Oklahoma and with this being just something done by “eyeball”), the teacher might have a point about the crime statistics.

    Take a look at http://encarta.msn.com/media_701500272/crime_rates_by_state_in_the_united_states.html.

    There are clearly other states/districts in the country which have crime problems (D.C., Michigan, Alaska, Maryland, California, among others) but it looks like Louisiana, Texas, South Carolina, Florida and others do make the South look violent crime- and rape-prone.

    jim (6d4ad1)

  48. Oh, good Allah. I knew it was only a matter of time til someone tried to show that what the teacher said contained some truthiness.

    JD (75f5c3)

  49. By the way, the link doesn’t work as a link. You’ll probably need to paste it into your browser.

    jim (6d4ad1)

  50. *cough* Jim, please see posts 5, 20, 31, 37 and 43 on a quick scan-over.

    The assertion is not supported by the evidence, any more than it would be if he was a member of the KKK and informed the class that the rape rates were higher because there are more blacks in the south.
    (Something that you can, actually, get much “better” evidence for– however, it would still be *correlation*, not *causation* and STILL proof that the SOB shouldn’t be trying to “provoke thought” until he learns some basic, basic logic. Manners wouldn’t hurt, either.)

    Foxfier (74f1c8)

  51. Cough, cough.

    Where in this quote does he “suggest” that Christians murder or rape more? I know the Fox News article says he suggested this, but the quote doesn’t do that.

    “Farnan recorded his teacher telling students in class: “What country has the highest murder rate? The South! What part of the country has the highest rape rate? The South! What part of the country has the highest rate of church attendance? The South!” Farnan said he took the tape recorder to class to supplement his class notes.”

    jim (6d4ad1)

  52. Jim,

    Then why do you think the teacher singled out church attendance when he claimed violent crime is more prevalent in the South?

    He could have said there were more NASCAR fans in the South, but he specifically mentioned church attendance.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  53. Couldn’t it be that there were more hypocrites in the South?

    jim (6d4ad1)

  54. Jim, are you saying that the only people who think rape is wrong are those who attend church?

    Apogee (366e8b)

  55. No, but I’m saying there are other connections that the teacher could have been suggesting other than Christians rape and kill more.

    jim (6d4ad1)

  56. Chad Farnan, a 16-year-old sophomore, says the teacher, James Corbett, told his students that “Jesus glasses” obscure the truth and suggested that Christians are more likely than other people to commit rape and murder.

    “Where in this quote does he “suggest” that Christians murder or rape more? I know the Fox News article says he suggested this, but the quote doesn’t do that.”

    Jesus glasses obscure the truth?

    Let’s not be coy AND disingenuous as we try to contextualize indoctrination, stereotyping and hatred. It’s simply too much work. We can just lie about it instead…it’s so much easier and much more comforting.

    cfbleachers (4040c7)

  57. Don’t avoid the point cfbleachers. I saw the story on Fox this morning, too. They indicated the organization which was fighting this at the end of the piece and gave its website.

    Wasn’t this likely just a plug for donations through Fox by http://www.faith-freedom.com?

    jim (6d4ad1)

  58. At age 16, my High School Chemistry teacher taught us how to ferment raisins and sugar and distill alcohol, and how to make smokeless gunpowder. At an interlude, he told us to be careful drinking in a bar because after the first drink you cannot tell the difference. You ask for Jack Daniels and your first drink is Jack Daniels but after that the bartender serves you Early Times and charges you for Jack Daniels.

    Comment by nk — 4/2/2008 @ 6:51 pm

    You were Nikki, right? Sat in the back left corner with sunglasses on? Always figured those skills would help you later in life; or, alternatively, prison.

    On a more serious note, I find it somewhat disturbing and disheartening that the educators of today seem more inclined to rant and proselytize than to teach. In my day we would’ve shunted this clown into admin before giving him the gold watch and the “For many years of service” speech. “Orange Drink” would be served, and maybe cheese with frilly toothpicks.

    Uncle Pinky (5ba4c8)

  59. Jim – Do you believe what the teacher was suggesting? Is that what you are saying?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  60. Jim #55 – If you’re now saying that there are other connections that the teacher could have been suggesting other than Christians rape and kill more (although you refrain from naming said connections), that would imply that there’s no correlation between church attendance and the commission of the crime of rape. Then where does the hypocrisy (#53) come from?

    Apogee (366e8b)

  61. Jim, for cryin’ out loud – if you had your dang Jesus glasses on, you could so easily see the truth! :)

    Dana (fba430)

  62. Don’t avoid the point cfbleachers. I saw the story on Fox this morning, too. They indicated the organization which was fighting this at the end of the piece and gave its website.

    Jim, when the ACLU takes up a cause and CNN reports it, is that just a plug?

    The point, which I’m not avoiding….has nothing to do with who took up the cause AFTER the school board refused to act honorably. AFTER the teacher refused to acknowledge poor judgment and bad tactics.

    I’m not thrilled that issue has become politicized, nor am I even thrilled that it became about religion, per se.

    In terms of issue spotting, this is about indoctrination and the baiting of a suspect class of students, Christians. The implicit threat of ostracization or grading bias is an important principle to protect and therefore needs diligent investigation. My Jesus glasses don’t obscure the obvious.

    cfbleachers (4040c7)

  63. You were Nikki, right? Sat in the back left corner with sunglasses on?

    Mr. Alquist? You still remember me after thirty-five years?

    nk (34c5da)

  64. Well, first of all, the teacher never said “Christians” in the quote. You (collectively) have somehow jumped from “people who attend church” to “Christians” to (I think) “bad Christians”. I don’t see any of this in the quote.

    I also don’t see anything in the quote that says or implies that “Christians kill or rape more”. I think you’re jumping from “there are more people who attend relgious service regularly” in areas where there seems to be greater than average (taken across the US as a whole) reported violent crime/rape to “that means Christians must kill more than other religions anywhere in the world”.

    What I’m saying is this: I think it’s easily proven that church attendance in the rural Midwest and South is higher than in the West or Northwest. Look at, for instance, the chart at http://www.stat.columbia.edu/~cook/movabletype/archives/2007/11/religiosity_and.html. I also think the expedia article I cited shows some higher than average correlation between the Southern states (in general and as defined) and rape and violent crime.

    So perhaps the connection could be one of these: (i) lower income people tend to attend church more regularly than higher income people (this apparently is the case in the US) and much of the South has a lower per capita income than the rest of the US and there is more violent crime in lower income areas; or (ii) some people in the South who attend church don’t act in accordance with their professed belief.

    But I don’t see anything in the statements which leads me to think that the professor implied that Christians commit violent crimes more than Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, athetists, etc.

    jim (6d4ad1)

  65. Jesus glasses obscure the truth.

    If he is not talking about Christians, which Jesus does he have in mind? Jesus Alou?

    Obscures the truth…what truth?

    Jim, you are going all Clintonian on us here, bending yourself into a pretzel to not see the obvious.

    Jesus glasses…obscure…the truth….church attendance…the South…rapes and murders…the South.

    Please connect the dots.

    cfbleachers (4040c7)

  66. Here’s the dots connected:

    I think the California student disliked this teacher (or perhaps was not getting the grade he wanted in that class) and decided he was going to get back at the teacher. I think he recorded lectures at various times (perhaps illegally, as I think California law requires both parties to consent) and then convinced his parents that his teacher was out to get him because he was Christian. I think the parents then filed a complaint against the School Board and then, when they weren’t satisfied, contacted their pastor (in Orange County and possibly at a mega-church with conservative connections) who put them in touch with the law organization that’s handling the case. The other students by and large support this professor and so the kid’s now looked on as even more of a dweeb than he otherwise was.

    The lawsuit was actually filed three months ago. Why all the fuss now if not trying to get some funding for this law organization.

    jim (6d4ad1)

  67. How do you get peasants to oppose something that is in their best interests? Religion. You have to have something irrational to counter that rational approach. When you put on your Jesus glasses you can’t see the truth.

    Conservatives don’t want women to avoid pregnancies. That’s interfering with God’s work. You have to stay pregnant and barefoot and in the kitchen and have babies until your body collapses. All over the world, doesn’t matter where you go, the conservatives want control over women’s reproductive capacity. Everywhere in the world. From conservative Christians in this country, to ..um…Muslim Fundamentalists in Afghanistan. It’s the same. It’s stunning how vitally interested they are in controlling women.

    What part of the country has the highest murder rate? The South. What part of the country has the highest rape rate? The South. What part of the country has the highest church attendance? The South.

    The student in question is looking to attend either USC or UCLA and needs to take AP European History according to his counselor, in order to secure placement at those top schools.

    Another student has been pulled from the class by his parents. And Corbett was sued previously by a biology teacher for a “class based animus against practicing Christians” in 1993.

    cfbleachers (4040c7)

  68. Found a much better article for some context:
    http://www.ocregister.com/news/lawsuit-corbett-case-1996882-attorney-court

    The actual complaint is for: “fostering hostility toward Christians and promoted ‘irreligion over religion'” – and irreligious is, I believe, a much more accurate description of the teachers views and his recorded statements released to date. Of particular note, is that this teacher is the “faculty adviser to the Free Thinking Atheist and Agnostic Kinship student club”.

    But equally of note, I think, is that this all took place within an AP European History class. I would imagine it would be near impossible to refrain from discussing some of the dangers of organized religion (specifically christian and more specifically Catholic) in the context of a course covering the dark and middle ages etc. Clearly it appears the teacher may have gone too far in letting his own personal views bleed into his teaching; and I can understand why the judge allowed the suit to proceed. But these aren’t mere children he’s teaching. These are near adults preparing to enter the adult academic system – they should be equally prepared to have their world view challenged somewhat. The case is going to hinge on the full context of those (as yet unreleased) tapes, and how much room the teacher provides for challenge and full discussion.

    Personally I think Chad’s parents would have served him better by having a quiet word with the teacher and/or principal noting what they believed was excessive, and sending Chad back to class armed with good arguements rather than a bevy of lawyers.

    Bob Loblaw (6d485c)

  69. From Bob Loblaw’s link (Thanks, Bob):

    “The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages and attorney fees, says that Corbett typically spent “a large portion of class time propagating his personal views to a captive audience.” He railed against Christianity and traditional Christian viewpoints on topics such as birth control, teenage sex, homosexuality and erectile dysfunction, according to the lawsuit.”

    It’s been a long time since I studied high school European History but how, exactly, is erectile dysfunction part of that course curriculum?

    DRJ (a431ca)

  70. If you can’t keep your personal views out of your subject, you need to change subjects.

    There is a WORLD of difference between “When you put on your Jesus glasses, you can’t see the truth” and any kind of responsible historical discussion.

    Foxfier (74f1c8)

  71. “If he is not talking about Christians, which Jesus does he have in mind? Jesus Alou?”

    – cfbleachers

    Maybe he said it with the spanish pronunciation:

    “Hay-soos glasses”

    Maybe he was talking about Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda.

    Leviticus (b987b0)

  72. Jesus Alou…is with the Spanish pronunciation.

    cfbleachers (4040c7)


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