By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
NEW YORK (Worthy News)– Last week, a magistrate judge for the Western District of New York issued a recommendation in the case of a Christian public school teacher who has been forced by her Cheektowaga Central School District superiors to remove any religious content from her classroom under threat of termination, according to an American Freedom Law Center press release.
Joelle Silver, who is also represented by the AFLC, claimed school officials ordered her to stop being a Christian while she is on school property, a violation of the First Amendment and the equal protection guarantee of the Fourteenth Amendment.
But the magistrate judge recommended dismissing Silver's suit, claiming that the district's discrimination was justified because school officials feared it could violate the Constitution's Establishment Clause.
Robert Muise, AFLC co-founder and senior counsel, said that the magistrate's recommendation as well as the school district's censorship of Silver are "dripping with hostility to religion".
Back in June 2012, Silver received a counseling letter from the school district ordering her to remove all religious items from her classroom, to include any personal notes that had inspirational Bible verses. The district also had the temerity to tell Silver that if she needed to "occasionally glance at inspirational Bible verses between classes during the course of the day" that she should keep the verses in a folder that only she would have access to.
As for Silver's role as faculty adviser for the school's Bible Study Club, the school district warned her that under no circumstances should she participate in the club's meetings or activities; also, under no circumstances should Silver permit any club activity from being interpreted as promoted or sponsored by her, or the school district.
However, that same school district permits other clubs' activities that could be seen as being sponsored by the school district. In this regard, the magistrate concluded that selective enforcement of the district's rules and regulations violated the equal protection guarantee of the Fourteenth Amendment.
"We are clearly witnessing the systematic removal of religion from all spheres of life, which is why it is critically important that we redouble our efforts," said David Yerushalmi, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel. "We can assure you that the American Freedom Law Center will not sit idly by as the government tries to take away our first freedoms."
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