A fifth grade student with cerebral palsy just wanted to glorify the King of kings—but the Los Angeles Unified School District blocked the youngster’s praise.
Here’s the background: Superior Street Elementary School Principal Jerilyn Schubert told the student’s mother that the song We Shine was “offensive.” Schubert insisted the so-called offensive lyrics violated the “separation of church and state” and had the gall to suggest the child choose a song that “does not say ‘Jesus’ so many times.”
Now, the district is back pedaling on the talent show rules. Just hours before the talent show curtains dropped, the district changed the policy that was threatening to silence the fifth-grader’s voice.
“Christian students shouldn’t be censored at public schools just because district officials consider religious speech to be offensive,” says Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel David Cortman. “The school district is doing the right thing by changing its policy to protect students’ constitutionally protected rights so that censorship of religious speech no longer occurs during student activities.”
In question was the school district’s bulletin that reads, “Student speakers at student assemblies and extracurricular activities such as sporting events or talent shows may not be selected on a basis that either favors or disfavors religious speech.”
Although mention of the name of Jesus was offensive to the superintendent, songs about murder were deemed acceptable. Indeed, school district officials approved talent show songs like “Freak the Freak Out,” and “Eye of the Tiger,” with lyrics stating that “we kill with the skill to survive.”