Science Teacher Suspended After Students Harass Her Over Religion

An eight-grade teacher in North Carolina was suspended after students disrupted her classes with proselytizing and harassment.

Melissa Hussain teaches eight-grade science at West Lake Middle School in Apex, NC. Some of her students challenged her with Christian beliefs when she taught a lesson on evolution.

The lesson didn’t go well.

Parents said the situation escalated after a student put a postcard of Jesus on Hussain’s desk that the teacher threw in the trash. Parents also said Hussain sent to the office students who, during a lesson about evolution, asked about the role of God in creation.

Soon after, the students chose to escalate their religious persecution of their teacher.

On her Facebook page, Hussain wrote about students spreading rumors that she was a Jesus hater. She complained about her students wearing Jesus T-shirts and singing “Jesus Loves Me.” She objected to students reading the Bible instead of doing class work.

The flash point for the comments came after the Bible was left on Hussain’s desk in December. The Bible was accompanied by an anonymous card, which, according to Hussain, said “Merry Christmas” with Christ underlined and bolded. She said there was no love shown in giving her the Bible.

Some parents are upset with Hussain, thinking that their children have every right to bring their religion into a public school classroom. Says parent Annette Balint:

She doesn’t have to be a professing Christian to be in the classroom. But she can’t go the other way and not allow God to be mentioned.

Actually, Ms. Balint, she can. She’s teaching science, not mythology.

Now for the other part of the story.

Ms. Hussain is suspended not because of the intolerance of her students; rather, she is technically suspended because she spoke about the incident on her Facebook page:

Hussain wrote on the social-networking site that it was a “hate crime” that students anonymously left a Bible on her desk, and she told how she “was able to shame” her students over the incident.

Oddly, the quotes listed in newspaper accounts — even at WingNutDaily — credited to Hussain are moderate. Her “Facebook friends”, however, offered many inappropriate (and idiotic) suggestions which are also being touted in the press.

Her Facebook page included comments from friends about “ignorant Southern rednecks,” and one commenter suggested Hussain retaliate by bringing a Dale Earnhardt Jr. poster to class with a swastika drawn on the NASCAR driver’s forehead.

Should Hussain be held responsible for the comments of her Facebook Friends?

12 Responses to Science Teacher Suspended After Students Harass Her Over Religion

  1. Absolutely nothing should happen to her. The students should be given in-school suspensions and the parents should be caned.

  2. NOTHING should happen to her. She made comments that were not derogatory, defamatory, or dangerous on her Facebook page as part of her private life.

  3. I agree – nothing.

  4. avatar Ronald Reagan (I wish)

    Did the teacher hit a student? Did the teacher threaten a student? The answer to both is “no”, so take no action against her. An adult needs to speak to those students about proper behavior in public, and the proper use of a Bible.

  5. Bring her back and expel the kids. Retards.

  6. avatar Barney F, McClelland

    She should be reinstated immediately with an apology. The students suspended and failed for the semester so they will have to repeat the class. The parents sued for any financial burden on the school systems their god-bothering brats might have incurred. The bibles gathered up and properly disposed of with a firm promise from the parents that it won't happen again.

  7. the fact that the school board even -thought- of doing anything for the teacher for simply doing her job, and even taking into account her facebook page at all (if she would have said that to her friends instead of facebook, it wouldn't have mattered -then-) is unsettling. Punish the abusive kids, not the teacher who did everything correctly.

  8. The teacher did her job of teaching correctly. What she does on Facebook is her own business and she has the right to express what she wants there. It has nothing to do with her job performance. The kids and/or their parents should be dealt with. This was a science class, not a theology class.

  9. she should be given a slap on the wrist for the Facebook comment. She should view the experience as an opportunity to bring God into the discussion and show, using the scientific method, that God is not a scientific concept.

  10. She AND the class should both be disciplined; she for inappropriate Facebooking and the students for inappropriate classroom behavior. Then all of them need to receive counseling with the goal of learning appropriate ways of expressing concern or disapproval. Underlining it all, the Board (which may also need the counseling, along with the parents) needs to make a clear statement about religious questions being inappropriate for classroom discussion. The students should be directed to their religious advisers.

  11. It is a hate crime that is being directed towards her by the ignorant fundie parents and their kids. She should get compensation and the parents should be sued!

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