Schoolhouse Beat

Teacher sues after district makes her remove religious items from classrooms

From The Buffalo News: A high school science teacher in Cheektowaga, N.Y., is accusing school officials of censoring her speech by ordering the removal of religious items from her classroom. Joelle Silver, 29, has filed suit against the Cheektowaga Central School District, contending that officials threatened to fire her if she didn't take down posters with religious messages, notes with Bible quotes and a "prayer request" box for the school's Bible Study Club. Silver, who teaches biology and anatomy at Cheektowaga High School, got rid of the material, but asserts that district officials were violating her First Amendment rights and acting hostile because she is Christian. The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a nonprofit group that promotes separation of faith and government, had complained to the district twice about Silver and maintained that the classroom postings were unconstitutional and needed to be removed.

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