KATY, Texas – Parents in Katy, Texas are questioning why the junior high school calendar features Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah, but neglects to mention Christmas.
The criticism comes after West Junior High School seventh-grader Jordan Wooley told the school board in October that a teacher required students to deny God is real as part of a graded reading assignment. Katy Independent School District Superintendent Alton Frailey initially apologized to Wooley, then called a press conference the next day alleging she’s a liar, prompting several other students to come forward to prove him wrong.
Officials at West Junior High were again accused of discriminating against Christians this week, this time through the school calendar.
“Numerous parents took to Facebook Monday feeling insulted, distrustful, and angry after the school’s web site prominently mentioned Kwanzaa, but had no mention of Christmas,” Covering Katy reports.
The “web site showed Kwanzaa on its homepage under upcoming events, but there was no mention of Christmas. The school’s … calendar also noted Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah, but Christmas was missing there too,” according to the news site.
A screen grab of the school site taken Monday lists “Winter Break” from Dec. 21 through Jan. 4, as well as Jan. 21 as the “First Day of Winter,” but then skips straight to Kwanza, Dec. 26 to Jan. 1.
The school calendar recognizes the same dates for Kwanzaa, and recognizes Hanukkah from Dec. 6 through Dec. 14, as well as other important dates, including the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, basketball, theater and band practices, choir and band concerts, and other events.
Denisse Cantu-Cauffman told Covering Katy the Christmas omission “was a simple oversight and has been corrected already.”
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The school website and calendar now lists Christmas day among the December festivities, but parent and district critic Kim Belcher believes the incident is only the latest to highlight the school’s anti-Christian atmosphere.
“The point is why was it left off in the first place,” Belcher said. “The school is displaying a deliberate and consistent intent.”
District officials in late October promised to ensure a seventh grade reading assignment is no longer used after 12-year-old Jordan Wooley raised issues with a requirement for students to deny God, which is against her faith.
Wooley testified before the school board that her reading teacher asked students to classify specific statements as fact, opinion or commonplace assertion – which the teacher described as a myth. When Wooley and numerous other students answered fact to the statement “There is a God,” the teacher allegedly told them they’re wrong, God is myth, Wooley said.
“When I tried to argue, (the teacher) told me to prove it, and I tried to reference things like the Bible and stories I have read before from people who have died and went to heaven but came back and told their stories,” Jordan told board members. “She told me both were just things people were doing to get attention.”
“Another student asked the teacher if we could put what we believe in the paper, and she said we could … but you would fail the paper if you do,” she said.
Superintendent Frailey thanked Wooley at the board meeting, then called a press conference the next day to allege she’s a liar, EAGnews reports.
“Nothing that the principal has found supports the assertions that the teacher deliberately threatened (students), or tried to force them to deny God,” he said, according to Fox 26.
Several other students, however, later came out in Wooley’s defense, though Frailey’s accusations caused some other students to harass and ridicule Wooley.
“My son said the exact same thing that Jordan said,” one parent told Fox 26.
“He told me that he absolutely was under the impression it was a graded assignment. That’s why they had the discussion of whether it would be right or wrong,” the mother continued. “That’s why he felt pressured, and he actually gave in, and changed his answer.”