Unconstitutional activity at Meridianville Middle School (Alabama)

October 17, 2009 at 5:02 pm (politics)

Before continuing to read I ask that NO ONE send a letter to this principal, school board, etc. Please let this action take its course with appropriate process. I put this note out for informational purposes only, so you know what is going on. Meridianville Middle School is about ten minutes from my house.

This letter was sent to the principal of the school and the Madison County School Board on 16OCT09.

American Atheists
From the Office of Blair Scott
National Affiliate Director & Alabama State Director
American Atheists, Inc.
PO Box 41, Ryland, AL 35767-2000
Office: (256) 701-6265 Cell: (256) 503-1123

October 16, 2009

Principal Tom Highfield
Meridianville Middle School
Hazel Green, AL

Principal Highfield,

It has come to my attention that Mr. Lynch is exclusively using the Bible as part of his history class and that the study guide and test associated with the section is full of references to god and questions that are irrelevant to history and serve no purpose other than to promote religion. During this same period the students did not use their state-approved curriculum or the state-approved textbook that Mr. Lynch is required to use.

While it is certainly understandable to discuss how the religious beliefs of a culture molded their history, it is clear from the questions on the study guide and test and the sections of the Bible read by the class that this is not what is being done in Mr. Lynch’s classroom. Mr. Lynch is clearly teaching, promoting, and endorsing religion and not history.

Students were asked to bring in their own Bibles (if the state-approved and county-approved curriculum required Bibles to be used they would be provided to students) with blatant disregard for any student in the classroom that may be Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Wiccan, Atheist, or others. Students read from large parts of the Bible that were irrelevant to the history of Israel.

This can be further evidenced by the lack of students reading from the Koran when studying the Middle East, the Book of the Dead when studying Egypt, the Vedas when studying India, or any other religious text during any other segment of Mr. Lynch’s class.

Most of the questions on the study guide and test are clearly religious. Only one question on the study guide dealt with modern Israel (What happened in 1948?). Here are a few examples that highlight the overtly religious nature of Mr. Lynch’s classroom:

1. Summarize the plague that killed the firstborn of Egypt. Be sure to include the Passover.
2. What miraculous event took place at the Red Sea during the Israelites fleeing of Egypt?
3. List the Ten Commandments.
4. What was the “cycle of sin” in the time of Judges?
5. Summarize the story of David and Goliath.
6. When Moses died God chose [blank] to lead the Israelites.

The copy of the test that I received has no questions on it about the actual history of Israel or the Jewish people; such as WWII, pogroms of Russia, establishment of the country of Israel, the Six Day War, and others. Every question comes directly from the Bible.

Mr. Lynch’s exclusive use of the Bible, having students bring their own Bibles into the classroom, reading extensively from the Bible, and formulating study guides and tests that only ask questions about the Bible is a violation of the United States Constitution (Establishment Clause) and the Constitution of Alabama (Article I, Section 3).

Student’s grades should not be reflected upon by the clearly unconstitutional test and section of Mr. Lynch’s classroom.

I look forward to your reply and resolution to this blatant violation of our federal and state constitutions.

cc: Madison County Board of Education
American Atheists

In reason,
Blair Scott
National Affiliate Director, American Atheists
Alabama State Director, American Atheists
Online: http://alabamaatheist.org/al and http://alabamaatheist.org/naod
Email: bscott@atheists.org or alabamaatheist@gmail.com
Pri Phone: (256) 701-6265
Sec Phone: (256) 503-1123
Postal: PO Box 41, Ryland, AL 35767-2000

American Atheists is a nationwide movement which defends the civil rights of nonbelievers, works for the separation of church and state, and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy. American Atheists, Inc. PO Box 158, Cranford, NJ 07016, Tel: (908) 276-7300 Fax: (908) 276-7402

Images of the test:

  1. http://i152.photobucket.com/albums/s…HistoryCla.jpg
  2. http://i152.photobucket.com/albums/s…lHistory-1.jpg
  3. http://i152.photobucket.com/albums/s…lHistory-2.jpg
  4. http://i152.photobucket.com/albums/s…lHistory-3.jpg
  5. http://i152.photobucket.com/albums/s…lHistory-4.jpg

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