Teacher who told students Obama wasn’t a Christian is out. About time.

I have been meaning to post on the Dublin teacher who allegedly told her class President Obama was not a Christian. And neither was anyone who voted for him.

That may count as one of the most inappropriate comments I’ve ever heard made in a public school classroom, raising the question of whether this teacher was suited for the job.

In addition, when parents wanted to meet with teacher Nancy Perry to discuss her Obama comments, she showed up with her husband Bill Perry who is a school board member – again inappropriate and cause enough for him to step down from his board seat.

In this 2012 photo, President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, daughters Malia, right, and Sasha walk across the square from the White House to St. John's Episcopal Church for Easter service in Washington. (AP Photo)

In this 2012 photo, President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, daughters Malia, right, and Sasha walk across the square from the White House to St. John’s Episcopal Church for Easter service in Washington. (AP Photo)

He had no right to attend that parent-teacher meeting, and the parents correctly called it an attempt to intimidate them. Bill Perry did not just overstep his elected position; he abused it.

Nancy Perry apparently denied to at least one media outlet she made the comments, although she brought literature supporting her position to her meeting with the parents – again so wrong as to make me wonder why she was in a public school classroom.

I went to Catholic schools. Sometimes, it seems public school students in Georgia hear more about religion than I did in a religious school. No teacher in my 12 years of Catholic schooling ever discussed political candidates or their religions.

I get a lot of emails from parents about religion being force-fed to students in Georgia public schools, from unofficial football team “chaplains” to outright proselytizing in class.

I don’t understand it. The rules seem clear. Don’t attempt to push your religious views on your students. Don’t treat students as possible converts. Keep religion out of the classroom unless it is part of the course content.

Often, when you look at the schools where this occurs, you find under achievement. So here’s my suggestion to educators attempting to indoctrinate students: Preach less; teach more.

Here is the latest on the Dublin situation from the AJC’s Ernie Suggs. This is an excerpt. Read the full story here.

A Dublin, Ga., middle school teacher who in March told her students that President Barack Obama isn’t a Christian has been removed from the classroom to pave the way for her retirement at the end of the school year.

Dublin Schools Chuck Ledbetter announced the retirement of Nancy Perry early Tuesday morning, while simultaneously apologizing to students and parents for Perry’s actions. “It is not the place of teachers to attempt to persuade students about religious or political beliefs,” Ledbetter said. “In doing so, the teacher was wrong and that has been communicated to her… Just as importantly, we are communicating this message to all staff of the school district.”

Perry a veteran teacher at Dublin Middle School, told her students that the president is not a Christian — and that anyone who voted for him was not a Christian. Parents protested and the NAACP called for sanctions against Perry.

Repeated calls to Perry have not been returned, but she has told a television station that she did not make the comments attributed to her.

Immediately after parents complained to Nancy Perry about her comments, a meeting was set up to address them. Although Perry has said that she never made the comments, at the meeting, according to the NAACP, she “presented to the parents a packet of several pages from a website that expressed her views on religion and politics. … The parents’ concern was exacerbated by the teacher’s unwillingness to even consider the possibility that her classroom conduct was not conducive to a healthy learning environment.”

Perry was also joined at the meeting by her husband, school board member Bill Perry. Parents saw that as a form of intimidation. Bill Perry is a former radio show host in Dublin, where his Saturday morning show touched on topics like gay marriage and religion.

Ledbetter has ordered all school principals to call his office immediately when a school board member tries to get involved in day-to-day school activities. “An individual board member should not participate in a parent/teacher or parent/principal conference nor should an individual board member in any way attempt to involve himself in a parental concern or a personnel matter at the school level,” Ledbetter said. “Again, this has been communicated directly to the board member by the board of education and made clear to the principals in our schools that this is not to be allowed.”

 

 

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39 comments
Harlequin
Harlequin

I actually lived in Dublin, Georgia for several years! At that time, it was a rather provincial southern town that sought to keep people in their "proper places." I can see that not that much has changed and nothing I read in the above article really surprised me!

BCW1
BCW1

@Wascatlady  So what we are saying today is that there is a zero tolerance for mistakes? If so, that means there is no more common sense in our society any longer, which is obvious. As I said, I don't condon what she said and she was out of line. But to lose your job? Maybe suspension without pay or public apology maybe or both?  So lets all remember that next time we all say or do something that was inappropriate or not a good decision!!!

BCW1
BCW1

I personally know both the Perry's and while I do not condon the comment made, they are good folks. They both are from Dublin and grew up in the city school system. 

William Guynes
William Guynes

All the articles about this are ranting about "the teacher who shared her beliefs" and how inappropriate it was. This is an issue but not the MAIN issue in my eyes.

More importantly, what about the teacher that is saying something that is provably false? This isn't exactly a point of opinion.

If knowingly false then it's lie, do you want her teaching your kids?

If unknowingly false then she doesn't possess the skill of logical reasoning enough to be teaching, do you want her teaching your kids?

taylor48
taylor48

@Maureen, why don't you really tell us how you feel?  ;)


For the record, I completely agree with you, and I've been going to church since I was about a week old.  As a Christian parent of kids who go to public school, I'd prefer that their religious education is put in my hands, not in the hands of the public schools.

DeaconBlues
DeaconBlues

Who knew that Jesus was a Republican?  Or a Democrat?  Maybe he was a Federalist?  I do remember something about, "Render unto Caesar...."  No matter.  I've had teachers on both sides of the political spectrum proselytize "in Jesus' name" about the Godliness of their views.  And I've had answers to essay tests and papers marked down because, as one teacher put it, "you've argued well, but you're wrong."  In red ink.  This was in high school.  College teachers think students (or their parents) pay to be abused and degraded if you don't accept their word as gospel.  I digress.  The teacher should have been fired.  That she was allowed to resign at the end of the year may very well be in recognition of many good years of prior service, before she went bat-kaka nuts, but that should be determined on appeal.. Bill Perry doesn't need to be making his bones on the backs of children (see also APS cheating scandal).  A good education provides tools for students to formulate their own values, attitudes and beliefs.  Mrs. Perry locked the tool shed.  

bu2
bu2

@DeaconBlues 

I got marked down in college for using the Bible as a philosophical source for a paper.  The English TA said I should have used a "more widely accepted" source.  She was generally pretty worthless.  She stood us up 3 different times.

Astropig
Astropig

Politics and religion should be off limits for teachers. They should just teach their subject(s) and do their jobs.


That said, I am reminded of my senior year in high school-1980. There was an election that year and several of us seniors were excited that we had the right to vote at 18. I will never,ever forget their utter revulsion at those of us that planned to vote for Ronald Reagan. They assured us in grim tones that The Gipper would get us into a war of some type and that we would die on some foreign battlefield. They talked about the election pretty openly in class and while they never overtly told us that we should vote for Jimmy Carter,they implied that only stupid people would not.


EdJohnson
EdJohnson

@Astropig And The Gipper proceeded to give the country A Nation At Risk.  Thanks a lot, Astropig.

JBBrown1968
JBBrown1968

@Astropig


Yes......mindless drones!  Are you looking for a job? You have  0.016 percent of a chance today. In 13 years and millions of dollars 0.016333 percent sooo there is a chance yet!

Belinda51
Belinda51

The nation was at risk FAR before Reagan.

Colwest
Colwest

racist bigots simply cannot comprehend that all people are created equal, and the first amendment guarantees freedom from religion, any religion or fairy tale, being imposed on humans by our government.  these ignorant racists will only become more dangerous to society as the caucasians diminish toward the minority race in the usa

Truthyness
Truthyness

Remember this issue and these first hand experiences every time someone get on tv and state we need religion back in schools. When I was growing up some teachers would mention religion in the class room. I can honestly say they always seemed to be the meanest most racist of the teachers. They always quoted religion when it meant limiting something they didn't personally like.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

"I have been meaning to post on the Dublin teacher who allegedly told her class President Obama was not a Christian. And neither was anyone who voted for him.

That may count as one of the most inappropriate comments I’ve ever heard made in a public school classroom, raising the question of whether this teacher was suited for the job."

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


These were the most inappropriate comments I have ever heard which were made by a teacher in a classroom in my 35 years of teaching and working in schools.  I suspect that the teacher felt empowered to make her remarks to her students by the fact that her husband was a member of the local Board of Education (and he was more than willing to exercise his power to defend her  - their - cause).


She should have been fired.  She should never teach again.  He should be removed from the Board of Education.


What they both did had nothing to do with educational enlightenment. In truth, what they did was the opposite of enlightenment. 

jerryeads
jerryeads

Well this ought bring some interesting - um - perspectives - out of the woodwork. In one of my course assignments my 'kids' choose a topic on which to do a paper and a presentation. Several presentations last night were on "evolution vs. creationism" which turned into discussions on religion in public schools. Professed Christians and non-Christians alike concurred that they wished in high school they could have had a course on religions such as they can take in college - if anything so that they could have a broader perspective toward and understanding about others' beliefs beyond the sometimes limited view from their upbringing. That of course is very different from the abject bigotry evidenced by this thankfully soon retired so-called teacher.


Easy, Cat :-) - you and I both know there's worse that goes on out there every day - - - this one just happened to surface.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@jerryeads You are right, Jerry, but I have seen SACS get its panties in a wad over way less.  This deserves their full wrath.


As a parent, I am horrified that the school system is moving like mired in sorghum syrup.


As a Christian, I find her comments hateful.


As a (retired) teacher, I find her behavior completely unacceptable.


As a citizen, I would NOT want a board member believing he has ANY business interfering in a parent/teacher conference.


What are the parents and citizens in that county doing, sitting on their hands?!  How do they support a superintendent like that?



Wascatlady
Wascatlady

It's about D&%$ time!


SACS should put the district on probation, mandate board member training, push for board member to be replaced.


Teacher should be fired and no longer drawing a paycheck.

straker
straker

Scratch


Obama told a reporter "I am a Christian".


Don't know where you're getting your information.

Scratch5
Scratch5

There is no such thing as separation of church and state. That was in a letter President Jefferson wrote. The Constitution states that the state will not create a religion nor endorse one. 

The right to Religious Freedom is for one and all. Being an atheist or agnostic is not a religion but the state is imploring its power to create these as a state religion. 

The comments by this teacher are wrong in that all that voted for President Obama are not Christians. President Obama is not a Christian by his own words. That is stated by an interview and a book which 'he' wrote.

The actions and retorts of students in response to the comments of others concerning the Christian religion are from what is taught at home. The church as a whole including the Catholics is impotent and does not stand up for their beliefs. So just holster your guns until things get turned around, miracles are coming and very soon at your local church including Catholic church. Miracles will turn the head of even the most doubting unbeliever.

Schools25
Schools25

What's sad is that occasions like this give the Christophobes among us an opportunity to vent hatred toward the only religion they ever find fault with.

While likewise distracting us from public education's many and continuing problems.

GTRay
GTRay

 I've always been inquisitive.  When I was in the 1st grade in Alabama, the teacher would read us passages from the Bible on a daily basis.  When I would ask her questions about what she had just read to us, she was often unable to come up with answers.  She didn't like me much.  She stopped acknowledging me when I would raise my hand to ask a question and put me in the "slow learner" group.  

She later got her comeuppance.

OldPhysicsTeacher
OldPhysicsTeacher

I dealt with this all the time in my school.  We brought in a creationist to lecture to our high school kids on how evolution was wrong. The teacher went to the principal for his OK, and he went to the superintendent. He approved it, and I was the one who got in trouble for bringing it up after I found out about it.  This is a red state with red state beliefs.  I am surprised that school did anything.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

Obama said that the US is no longer a Christian nation.  I guess we should boot him, too?

You libs love the 1st Amendment.

Except when you don't.

kyoung2112
kyoung2112

@DownInAlbany The teacher is well within her first amendment rights to say what she wants, but school officials are also well within their rights to boot her out for comments that are completely inappropriate for a classroom.

RichardKPE
RichardKPE

@DownInAlbany The only thing wrong there is that the US was never a Christian nation.  Not "no longer" a Christian nation, but not in the first place.  

booful98
booful98

@DownInAlbany Once again: free speech does not mean what you think it means. I highly recommend that you actually read what it says.

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

Stay down in Albany....you got schooled by redweather!

redweather
redweather

@DownInAlbany "Given the increasing diversity of America's population, the dangers of sectarianism have never been greater. Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers."

That's what Obama said.

TovahG
TovahG

Just wait and see- someone will start a GoFundMe page on behalf of that teacher and they're raise an obscene amount of money. <sigh> <face palm>

Starik
Starik

Congratulations to the press for shining a light on this situation.  Without the publicity nothing would have happened.