You know the religious right is going to go ballistic about this. In Cupertino, California, the principal has apparently barred a teacher from handing out a copy of the Declaration of Independence to his students. Now, I suspect that this teacher is one of those pious crusaders who wants to play up the “Christian nation” angle to his students and mistakenly thinks that the Declaration supports that idea. But even if that’s the case, barring him from handing out perhaps the most important document in American history to his students is not only stupid, but destined to feed into the very thing she’s trying to prevent. As usual, Timothy Sandefur nails this one on the head:
I’ve frequently said that government school officials are woefully ignorant about the First Amendment, and that their zealotry allows Christian conservatives to portray themselves as a persecuted minority–something they most certainly are not; but that image is very politically useful to them.
And they will no doubt exploit that to the hilt here. There will be howls of outrage about “anti-Christian persecution” and “liberals trying to cover up the truth of our nation’s Christian heritage”. And it will be all because this principal is clueless about the law. I’ll be thrilled to find out the claims in the teacher’s lawsuit aren’t true, but at this point I’m inclined to believe that they are.