Teenage evangelists and Facebook follies

Wake County middle school teacher suspended for venting about her bible-thumping students on Facebook:

"Today a student left a brand new bible on my desk with an anonymous card that said 'Merry Christmas; with 'Christ' underlined and bolded," Hussain wrote. "I can't believe the cruelty and ignorance of people sometimes."

Hussain later goes on to accuse her students of spreading rumors that she's a Jesus hater. She complains about the students wearing Jesus shirts, singing "Jesus Loves Me" and reading the Bible in class.

At first glance, this appears to be a teacher vs student controversy, but comments from some of the parents indicate they may have been involved, as well:

Parents of Hussain's students said she didn't help things by throwing in the trash a postcard containing the picture of Jesus and by sending students to the office who mentioned God during a discussion of evolution.

I know that some places are characterizing it as a Muslim vs. Christian fight based on her last name. But all of the parents I spoke to said she's more likely a secular humanist.

While Secular Humanism is an actual movement with followers, it's also a popular flogging horse for fundamental/activist Chistians. If those parents were aware that their children were tormenting this teacher, and they did nothing to discourage said behavior, the parents themselves should be elevated to the top of the "who was most wrong" list.


Village of the Damned

or Village of the Damned Stupid.


In the screen shot

In the screen shot of the facebook correspondence shown in the N&O article the most recent comment from the teacher indicated things had been resolved (in her mind).
I suspect that the group of kids responsible for the Christmas "Gift" went home and whined to parents about being embarrassed in the discussion and parents raised hell with principal. I go with Damned Stupid.

I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle...
John Stuart Mill 1866

Those are actually pdf images

of (paper) printouts, and I believe they were supplied to the N&O by one or more of the parents. And it's an incomplete collection, too. If you look at the printer's coding, the first page is 2 of 4, the second page is 4 of 5, and the third is 5 of 5. Might not mean anything, but stuff like that bothers me.

Thanks for the correction

And your observation about page numbers, that makes you wonder with other pages missing (could be nothing or totally misrepresent the pages shown).

Not related but Del Burns (Wake County Public School Superintendent) resigned today. News was hinting that it was probably related to the conflict with the new school board's direction

I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle...
John Stuart Mill 1866

Culture Shock

When I first came to the South from Germany, I was in for a lot of culture shock, especially in matters of religion. German Lutherans are not given to religious zealotry, and the religious fervor I encountered in my new home often left me quite uncomfortable.

In the late 1970s I lived in the southern part of North Carolina and attended classes at Pembroke. I was a single mom working the night shift at the local textile mill while getting my BA.

One afternoon, I was doing research for a paper on Greek and Roman mythology for my World Literature I class, when the doorbeel rang.

When I opened the door, I saw two middle-aged women standing outside. One asked me point-blank:

"Do you believe in God?"

My mind still deeply engrossed in my homework, I absent-mindedly countered,

"Which one? There are so many."

This was, I discovered quickly, the wrong answer. After staring at me in open-mouthed horror for a moment, the two women started in on me. People like me, they shouted, were the reason this country was being destroyed. It was people like me who gave amnesty to traitors (remember Carter pardoned draft evaders in early '77). It was people like me who raised their children to become criminals and homosexuals. We were all going to hell and didnt even know it! And on and on they screeched. They got so worked up that their spittle flew in all directions while they hopped up and down like crazed hens in their self-righteous rage. Not a pretty picture, to say the least.

My two kids looked on with big eyes, stunned into silence by the spectacle. They had never seen adults literally frothing at the mouth before.

I had to order the two women from my property with the threat of calling the police if they did not leave immediately.

Afterwards, I had a long talk with my two kids about the incident because I did not want the hatefulness they had witnessed cause them any harm. Thankfully, they had a much better grasp on the essence of spirituality than those two women ever will.

My 6-year-old son gave me a big hug and said "Don't worry, you won't go to hell like those women said. I tell God that you're the best mom in the world."

And my daughter wondered if we shouldn't feel sad for them because they were sick. "God will make them better," she concluded with all the wisdom of her four years, "but they have to ask nicely."

Resistance is Fertile


This is a good story, well told. I bet those kids grew up to be awesome, too.

Button Pushing - Time Honored Tradition

Ms. Hussain clearly has an issue when it comes to religion (maybe all religion, maybe just Christianity or perhaps just evangelical behavior). The kids in her class discovered that and used it against her. "Shaming her kids", being mad at "Bible Boy" just fed their behavior.

I've been in a few classrooms where a teacher could not control a class and this seems like one of them. They quickly realized there were things they could get away with that would sidetrack their classroom learning. Reading a bible, signing "Jesus Loves Me" and other antics are all meant to be entertainment, because everyone loves an emotional meltdown which are so much more fun than learning and studying!

I certainly think the kids were in the wrong, but at the same time Ms. Hussain is a professional teacher and is responsible for controlling her classroom. She needs to learn to develop a thicker skin because she is right, kids are cruel and merciless. She also needs to learn what she can do to control the situation. It's pretty clear that her responses were focused on the topic of religion and not just on disruptive behavior which is likely where things started to go wrong.

I'd be surprised if any of the kids in that class were even a fraction as religious as they made themselves out to be.

There is plenty of blame to go around in my opinion. At the very least, I'd love to see the kids in that class given a very stern talking to by the Principal of the school. Ms. Hussain should attend a class on how to control a disruptive classroom.