Teacher Asks Students To Write, Illustrate Bible Verses

| by Michael Allen

Kelli Hunka, a teacher at Green Middle School in Canton, Ohio, has reportedly assigned her students religious projects every month since December 2015.

A letter sent March 8 to the school's legal counsel by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, an organization that advocates for the separation of church and state, included photocopies of the assignments in question.

In December 2015, Hunka asked students to illustrate their favorite Christmas carol and add a drawing of a gift with the tag, "Merry CHRISTmas."

In January, Hunka told the kids to "[w]rite and illustrate a prayer for the new year."

Hunka's February assignment instructed students: "Copy John 3:16 into your journal. Write about how perfect God's love is. (optional)."

In March, Hunka asked the children to "[i]llustrate Isaiah 11:16...The Peaceable Kingdom. Look up Edward Hicks and write a little about him."

"As you know, public schools may not endorse religion over nonreligion, or one religion over another," the FFRF wrote in its letter. "In these journal assignments, Hunka included assignments from the Christian bible, but no other religious texts. These assignments are not part of a study of comparative religion or history of religion, but rather provide lessons in Christianity to supplement the other journal assignments."

"[Hunka] has been instructed not to use any materials containing the religious references addressed in your letter," legal counsel Mary Jo Shannon Slick wrote in a March 23 response letter.

"Teachers indoctrinating young impressionable minds in the Christian faith is reminiscent of the bad old days," FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor said, according to a press release on the organization's website. "We're happy that such misconduct has been ended."

There has not been a public statement from Green Middle School or Hunka.

Sources: Freedom From Religion Foundation (2) (3) / Photo Credit: Naval History & Heritage Command/Flickr

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