Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) sent Janesville School District in Wisconsin a letter Wednesday applauding its apology for showing students a one-sided video that promotes same-sex marriage and attacks religious views to the contrary.
"Schoolchildren should receive an education that is free from ideological or political bias and that does not disparage any of their beliefs," says ADF senior legal counsel Jeremy Tedesco. "Student indoctrination is inappropriate, especially on an issue as important as marriage. Students and parents deserve better. The district recognized its mistake and deserves to be commended."
In April, students at Craig High School were shown a video that promotes same-sex marriage and condemns supporters of marriage between one man and one woman. The video shows students saying it is "insane" and "outrageous" that "only" 14 states (at the time the video was created) allow same-sex marriage. The video also shows students responding to Christian objections to same-sex marriage. Responses included, "Cry me a river, build me a bridge and get over it," "You guys are basic and nobody likes you" and "No one cares what you think."
The letter explains that Janesville School District "rightly determined that showing the video contravened its Academic Freedom and Controversial Issues in the Classroom policies" and that the video's "disparagement of religious beliefs opposing same-sex marriage likely violated the Establishment Clause."
The letter also notes that the "Board of Education recognizes students' 'right to receive competent instruction in an atmosphere free from bias and prejudice.'" Moreover, the school's policy "affirms that 'although teachers have the right to express their own viewpoints and opinions, they do not have the right to indoctrinate students.'"
"Schools are wise to take an unbiased and objective approach when teaching about controversial social issues," adds ADF litigation counsel Jonathan Scruggs. "We commend the district for recognizing that the one-sided, anti-religious same-sex marriage video shown in class violated its policies and undermined parental authority. We hope more school districts follow their lead."
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