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Annoyed at principal
Old 04-08-2008, 01:48 PM
 
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I'm a little annoyed at my principal. This isn't something I would probably fight or make a big issue of, but still its annoying. I was wearing necklace today. It is of the Methodist cross. It was very visible, and principal saw it. She told me that it went against separation of church and state. I'm not so sure about that, and I've never seen anything in teacher's dress code that says we can't wear religious jewelry. I've seen my Jewish colleague wear a necklace of the Star of David and the principal didn't say anything to her about. I would think you could wear a cross necklace or cross ring, as long as you are not teaching about your religious beliefs since this is a public school.


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good grief!
Old 04-08-2008, 02:01 PM
 
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I don't think that it should be an issue. You aren't pressing your religious values on the students by wearing a necklace. At a recent parent meeting, I noticed one of the mothers had a Methodist cross tattooed on her calf. If she makes a big deal about the necklace, maybe you should go that route.
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Do you have a union?
Old 04-08-2008, 02:05 PM
 
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Do you belong to a union? To me it sounds like discrimination to be told that your choice to wear a piece of jewelry that expresses your religion can arbitrarily be banned when other teachers are allowed to wear jewelry that reflects their beliefs. Does your dress code say that you can't wear religious jewelry? Separation of Church and state has nothing to do with the jewelry you choose to wear it has to do with the government not establishing an official religion.
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Old 04-08-2008, 02:06 PM
 
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I often wear a hot pink guitar pick on a necklace that says "Pick Jesus". I teach at a public school in TX and my principal had never said anything about it! I agree that if you aren't teaching your beliefs or discussing them in class it is a non issue.
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Old 04-08-2008, 02:51 PM
 
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For the love of Pete. She must not have had enough to do today. I would give a call to your Union, you can't be singled out.


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Religious jewelry
Old 04-08-2008, 03:02 PM
 
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I've worn a gorgeous filgree cross DH got me 10 years ago( when we were dating) I haven't taken it off. It is visable and I wear it with the heart chram he got me at the same time. No one ever given me a bad time about it.
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Call the union
Old 04-08-2008, 03:06 PM
 
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Separation of church and state does not mean that you can't wear a religious symbol while teaching in a state institution. If you start holding revival meetings during math class, that could be a problem, but a cross on a chain is your own business.

Sheeeeesh.
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ridiculous
Old 04-08-2008, 03:34 PM
 
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I think that was super silly. I hope you have union rep and I hope you are sending an email right now!
Kym
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You're covered under free speech
Old 04-08-2008, 03:55 PM
 
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We discussed this topic when I took a "Teachers and the Law" class as part of my certification. You are protected under the First Amendment - it is a form of free speech.

Geesh - some people just don't have anything better to do with their time, huh? Sorry that happened to you - how frustrating.
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I agree
Old 04-08-2008, 04:02 PM
 
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with the PP. Separation of church and state does not mean that people can't wear a religious symbol. See your union rep. asap. Good Luck!

I wonder.... would she say the same to person's of other religions??


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too much
Old 04-08-2008, 04:07 PM
 
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Your principal clearly hasn't ever studied the Constitution. It has been established that the framers of the constitution never intended to keep the church out of the state, they wanted to keep the state (gvt.) out of the church. Whatever the intent, I can't believe your principal doesn't have anything more important to do than obsess over your jewelry. That's insane!
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Old 04-08-2008, 04:10 PM
 
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I think your principal just crossed the line. Your cross has nothing to do with separation of church and state. I agree with PP, she has way too much time on her hands. I find it very disturbing that a principal would be so ignorant of constitutional law as it applies to schools.

I have never heard of a school system telling an employee that they couldn't wear a symbol of their belief system. We have teachers in our school system who wear head coverings etc, because they are faithful and their faith demands it. I cannot imagine what would happen if they were told that they had to remove them.

I think I would contact my union. I also think this is taking the "religion of secularism" too far.



Last edited by biyubelle; 04-08-2008 at 04:21 PM..
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????
Old 04-08-2008, 04:17 PM
 
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Do you have an employee handbook of any kind? We have a student handbook and then staff has a "staff handbook". In that dress code is addressed. However, nothing is mentioned in ours about a necklace!!
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Your principal is wrong...
Old 04-08-2008, 04:19 PM
 
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Bet on this:

If wearing a turban or a veil or a head covering or a dot on your head or... you fill in the blank... were part of your religion, your principal would NOT have said a word.

It's just another example of the overt discrimination that exists against Christians today.

The Catch-22 for Christians is that we believe in silly things like "forgiveness," "turning the other cheek," and "submitting ourselves unto one another and those who rule over us." Most of us don't stand up for our own rights and kick and scream like so many others would. And we of course could never count on the ACLU to do that for us...

I say "Render unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar," and pray for your principal's salvation.
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Old 04-08-2008, 05:08 PM
 
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I agree with PP.

Here is a solution find every religious icon you can and wear them all at once, I am sure she will appreciate your attempt to share with students all the various religions out there....
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Old 04-08-2008, 06:20 PM
 
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Your principal is probably having a faith crisis and your necklace just brought it to mind. (That was the psychologist in me.)
I think you should ignore the comment, and continue to wear the necklace. If it is a problem again, then you can quote what the PP said about freedom of speech. Please, whatever you do, don't stop wearing it!
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Didn't read
Old 04-09-2008, 09:06 AM
 
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all of the responses, but wearing a cross is NOT a violation of church and state!! You have every right to wear it as long as you don't preach about it. Tell him to go fly a kite.
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:16 AM
 
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Your principal needs to "study up" on what "Separation of church and state" MEANS...

She has no CLUE!! WOW! Talk about showing your ignorance!

It sounds like she was just LOOKING for something to gripe at you for. what a pain.
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What an idiot...
Old 04-09-2008, 09:35 AM
 
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I can't believe that this principal has the nerve. You may have a civil lawsuit on your hands. I'd call your union AND the ACLU.

The "Separation of Church and State" is NOWHERE in the Constitution. The first amendment disallows the establishment of official religion, but does NOT establish atheism as the state religion.

If there was a teacher wearing a hijab, would the principal demand that she tear off the scarf etc... no way!

You are being discriminated against and must take legal action NOW.
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I would be so in trouble
Old 04-09-2008, 10:12 AM
 
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My dh has given me many beautiful silver cross pieces that I wear all the time to school. They truly are works of art and some of them are pretty big, never have I been told not to wear them...

I would probably not start at the union with a complaint, personaly I would ignore the remark and then if she says something again I would have a conference with her and ask her for clarification...then if she pushed it I would talk to the union.
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You can wear it!
Old 04-09-2008, 11:42 AM
 
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It is only a violation of the dress code if causes a disturbance within the school. (I just finished school law). It dates back to the case (I forget the name - but if you need it I can find it) where a man decided to wear a black armband to protest the Vietnam War. He eventually won his case and was permitted to wear it because it did not cause an actual disturbance.

If your principal continues to persue it, simply state that it isn't causing a "rukus"; therefore, you are fully permitted to wear it.

Ok I am off my soap box
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Old 04-09-2008, 05:39 PM
 
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I can not believe your Principal said such a thing! I think she crossed the line on a big no no. I would contact the union and asked...could this be a form of harrasement or something...

I would say 70% of your staff wears some type of relegious jewelry. We send out Christmas cards, we send out prayers on the e-mail..etc. Is she totally against all of this?
She must have had a bad day and been PMS big time
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She can't do that
Old 04-10-2008, 07:25 AM
 
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I wear a cross (or a Lutheran rose) necklace all the
time. As long as you are not saying anything
to your students, she cannot say a word.
I would document this, maybe talk to your union
rep., and see if anything else gets said about it.
Document to make sure it is not used against you
later in an evaluation.
Don't stop wearing it.
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cross
Old 04-11-2008, 04:03 PM
 
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If it's not in the dress code, you should be able to wear it. You are not teaching about religion. It sounds to me as if your principal is going overboard and overdoing the church and state thing. It's not as if you're wearing a gang symbol.

You must live in the North. Religion is more freely tolerated here in the South.

What do you plan to do? Stop wearing the cross? Talk with your principal about it? Is it worth the fight?
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Have to disagree with one point
Old 04-12-2008, 02:29 PM
 
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The posters who are saying "If she was wearing a hijab this would never happen"..are absolutely WRONG!! If parents at my school found out there was a muslim teaching at a public school, there would be mobs out on the street saying "keep suicide bomber out of school!" PLUS, if you've watched the news, you've seen where muslims have been forced to remove their scarf. I'm sorry, but this is still a christian country (which is fine), and I have no problem with people wearing crosses OR hijabs, but there is FAR MORE discrimination being a muslim in America than being a Christian, and if you don't believe me, try taking your cross off in school and wearing a hijab instead.

For the record, I do absolutely disagree with what the principal said, I just hate it when people make silly comments about how christians are harassed while muslims and other MINORITY faiths in this country can do ANYTHING. You obviously have no friends, family members, or even contacts with people of minority faiths or else you would see how ridiculous that claim is.
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Old 04-14-2008, 09:52 AM
 
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Jul

Substitute in the Jewish kippah if you wish. I wasn't discussing Muslims in general.

And... where in schools exactly are Muslims being forced to remove the hijab?

You might be thinking of France, where religious symbols are banned in public school.
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