A high school science teacher in Cheektowaga is accusing school officials of censoring her speech by ordering the removal of religious items from her classroom.
Joelle Silver, 29, complained in federal court papers that Cheektowaga Central School District 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 and has been with the district for seven years, got rid of the material.
She then charged district officials with violating her First Amendment rights and acting hostile because she is Christian, in a complaint filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York,
But a national organization that complained to the district twice about Silver last June said the classroom postings were unconstitutional and needed to be removed.
“Public employees, including teachers, have to act neutrally with regard to religion. They cannot push any religion,” said Rebecca Markert, staff attorney for the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a nonprofit membership organization based in Madison, Wis., that promotes separation of faith and government.
Written By: Jay Tokaszcontinue to source article at buffalonews.com