We all have been misunderstood. We have had times when others have mistaken what we have said to mean the very opposite of our intended message. It is a frustrating thing. Once the mistake is made, it is very difficult to undo the wrongheadedness. The confused person often will go back to what they thought you meant, no matter what you say to correct them.
This is the claim of a Texas school district. In defense of one of their teachers, they claim that this was all just a misunderstanding. When a student reported the incident, they claimed that the account was not what was intended.
Christian News reports:
A Texas teen says that her teacher told students this week that they must deny God in their reading class or fail the assignment.
Jordan Wooley, a seventh grade student at West Memorial Junior High School in Katy, spoke before the school board Monday night to tell her story.
“Today I was given an assignment in school that questioned my faith and told me that God was not real,” she said. “Our teacher had started off saying that the assignment had been giving problems all day. We were asked to take a poll to say whether God is fact, opinion or a myth and she told anyone who said fact or opinion was wrong and God was only a myth.”
Now, let me say that there have been times that I have played devil’s advocate. I will push the student or students I am teaching to see if they truly understand and accept what I have been teaching. But almost without exception, I have gone back and clarified my position. I also take this time to point out the things the student had not thought about or to encourage them in holding fast to what they believe. But this seems to be an unlikely scenario.
Christian News continued:
Wooley said that a number of students objected to her teacher’s assertions that God was a myth, but the teacher would not have it.
“She started telling kids they were completely wrong and that when kids argued we were told we would get in trouble,” she stated. “When I tried to argue [in favor of God’s existence], she told me to prove it.”
What seems to have happened is that the teacher sought to force the students to answer with what the teacher wanted them to say, and when they refused, she threatened to count the answer wrong. But the teacher, through the school has denied this and Wooley’s version of events.
Christian News reports:
The Katy Independent School District has now released a statement about the matter, advising that two students had contacted the principal about the matter, resulting in an investigation.
“At the conclusion of the investigation today, the principal determined that the classroom activity included an item that was unnecessary for achieving the instructional standard,” it stated. “The activity, which was intended to encourage critical thinking skills and dialogue by engaging students in an exercise wherein they identified statements as fact, opinion, or common assertion was not intended to question or challenge any student’s religious beliefs…”
The district remarked that the teacher herself is a Christian, and that the assignment has been misunderstood. However, it advised that the lesson has been scrapped and noted that action will be taken in the matter.
Let’s be clear: I do not mind that the student’s faith was challenged. I think that some of the best exercises for our faith are to have it questioned. I believe that critical thinking is something that is lost for many and encourage such exercises. But no matter the teacher’s faith or belief, critical thinking is not taught by telling the students what they must answer.
Rather, what the teacher seemed to be engaged in is brainwashing. And it is funny; this is the very thing that the lost have claimed we have done in America for years.
No matter the intent, we should praise God for Jordon Wooley’s faith and courage. She knew someone should take a stand and tell what happened, and she did both. Good job.