Isn’t it amazing what the teacher asked

Remember that schoolteacher who bullied the Buddhist kid for not “correctly” answering the question she asked on a test:

“ISN’T IT AMAZING WHAT THE _____________ HAS MADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

when the “correct” answer was supposed to be “the Lord”? Remember that?

Well a judge has said that’s a no-no.

6th grade science teacher Rita Roark taught students that the Bible is “100 percent true.” She told them God created the Earth 6,000 years ago and called evolution a “stupid theory made up by stupid people who don’t want to believe in God.” What follows is a test question she gives to students.

“ISN’T IT AMAZING WHAT THE _____________ HAS MADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

The answer Roark looked for was “The Lord.” But “C.C.,” a student in Roark’s class, couldn’t answer the question, nor would he have. That’s because C.C. is a Buddhist, not a Christian. Roark not only violated her student’s First Amendment rights by pushing specific religious beliefs on a classroom assignment, she also ridiculed her non-Christian student. She led her class in laughing at “C.C.” and called his Buddhist faith “stupid.” Roark also told “C.C.” that “you’re stupid if you don’t believe in God.”

Christian propaganda can be found all around school property. From pictures of Jesus, posters, Bible verses, and official prayers, Negreet High School clearly seeks to indoctrinate students and bully those who don’t practice the Christian faith. When parents confronted Sabine Parish Superintendent Sara Ebarb about the issue, she told them to either change their faith to fit in with “the Bible Belt” or find a school where “there are more Asians.”

Or get out of God’s country or give up on getting an education or jump off a cliff. One of those, anyway we win and you lose.

District Judge Elizabeth Foote not only ruled against the school, she threw the book at them. In her ruling, Foote agreed that the school district clearly violated the constitutional rights of students by forcing Christian doctrine down their throats. She ordered the school to remove all of the propaganda from the premises. The ruling banned school officials from initiating prayers, using class work to promote religion, sponsoring a religious belief, or holding religious services at the school. Students are still permitted to pray in school and participate in religious clubs. But as the ruling states,

“The District and School Board are permanently enjoined from permitting School Officials at any school within the School District to promote their personal religious beliefs to students in class or during or in conjunction with a School Event… School Officials shall not denigrate any particular faith, or lack thereof, or single out any student for disfavor or criticism because of his or her particular faith or religious belief, or lack thereof.”

In other words they’ve been told to do what they should have been doing all along.


  1. says

    $10 says the Christians start screaming about being persecuted by the judge.

    Y’know, there really are no odds you can offer here that could ever make this a good bet to call.

  2. Rowan says

    So by “threw the book at them” it means the judge took the book, gently set it in front of them and then read aloud the words too big for them to get through? Because nothing in there sounds like its a penalty above and beyond ‘hey you weren’t allowed to do this, so please don’t do it again’.

  3. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    $10 says the Christians start screaming about being persecuted by making death threats against the judge.

    FIFY. You will know they are Christians by their love…

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    … forcing … down their throats.

    Uh-oh. Did the judge just call the school district faggosexuals? Only they do that!

    NateHevens… @ # 1: This is how it should be.

    Not so long as Rita Roark still has a job teaching science in a public school.

  5. lurker says

    Super caps lock, multiple exclamation marks and no question mark… Someone give this woman an interrobang. It makes one wonder if this person should be a teacher. Oh… and the bullying, law breaking and teaching nonsense.

    Isn’t it amazing what the judge has made…you do?

  6. says

    @8: Indeed. When I first heard of this story, the part that hit me wasn’t the church-state violation — I’m inured to that, I guess — but the pedagogical incompetence, and the *bullying* of one of her students. That’s a dismissing offense, right there, or damn well ought to be.

  7. lurker says

    @ 9
    I’d go further than firing, but that’s just me, I think this behaviour should be criminal.
    I understand teachers are already under too much pressure, but for situations like this that a court decides are violations, I feel teachers (and I am loathe to give this person such a respectable title), could perhaps be treated more like a health professional, considering the influence, responsibilty and authority they have over their students. It is hard to understate how impactful an incident like this could be on a child, or even an adult.
    As a counsellor (UK) your accreditation with, and membership to any accrediting organisations could be revoked, reducing your likelyhood of future public employment, and you could be liable for personal injury type claims against you, on top of any firing. And while I loathe the idea of teachers having to have personal liability insurance, some personal repercussions should exists for people who would weild their power like a weapon to abuse someone who is essentially a powerless captive (as bunking off school is not ok).
    But then, in this case, the culture of the school at large is also a problem, so the school should bare some responsibility.
    This person should at least have to pay enough to cover any counselling thier victim may need, now or in the future, or travel cost and any after-school child-care for them to go to another school.
    To get the rest of the class to laugh along, that was the bit that made me feel sick. Getting others to participate in your cruelty is also abusive. I wouldn’t keep that person on if I were the head of the school, but again, they seem to be part of the problem. It’s just a horrible story. Sorry for the rant. I just don’t understand why someone with so little compassion would even want to teach, it’s mind-boggling.

  8. Erp says

    The judge didn’t make a ruling; she signed off on an agreement between the school district and the plaintiffs so the case wouldn’t go to trial. It seems fairly obvious that the school district’s lawyers and/or insurance company told the district a few facts such as they had no good defense so settle now or else.

  9. screechymonkey says

    The next likely step here is that the school will blatantly ignore the court’s order, the plaintiff will bring a motion for contempt, and then Drudge will set the red siren and Fox News will loudly proclaim


    (This is a longstanding pet peeve of mine, the “[consequences] for [action]” headline, which implies that it was an initial punishment for the action, as opposed to a punishment for defying the order of a court or other lawful body.)

  10. Silentbob says

    @ 10 lurker

    I just don’t understand why someone with so little compassion would even want to teach

    Ever see that doco Jesus Camp? It’s not about teaching it’s about recruitment.

  11. Desert Son, OM says

    The teacher did this against a child. You have your religion, I get it, fine. I get that you even feel a nonsensical and ludicrous compulsion to share that religion with other people in the hopes that they think it’s the best thing ever. You should keep that to private time outside of school, but you’re allowed to have it.


    She led her class in laughing at “C.C.” and called his Buddhist faith “stupid.” Roark also told “C.C.” that “you’re stupid if you don’t believe in God.”

    The teacher did this to a child. Sorry, you have just voided your application to membership among Responsible Adults In A Position of Caring Trust. You laughed at a child and called that child stupid.

    Paging Mr. Alighieri, Mr. Dante Alighieri, red courtesy phone.

    Hulk. Fucking. Smash.

    Still learning,


  12. says

    Teaching, at the elementary and secondary level at least, has one important thing in common with police work: it attracts bullies. Well-run police departments attempt to screen out the bullies, though some inevitably ooze through the filters. School systems largely lack such filters, probably because their bullying doesn’t lead to bloodshed.

  13. says

    @15: Though in my experience, they mostly manage to confine the bullies to the Phys Ed department. I did, however, have one high school math teacher who was a right asshole.

  14. medivh says

    Steve Rush, #15:

    I can only speak to my own experience as a former student of four separate schools, but I think that your impression is wrong. One of the schools I went to actively courted bullies, as it was a day care for rich people’s kids pretending to be a school. One got bullies because the administration didn’t care. The other two didn’t get many bullies, and those that did slip through were fired quickly.

    I think it’s more fair to say that there are a lot of schools that have administration-at-arms-length rather than engaged administrators. Which I would say is a result of the culture that pervades western society that a business degree means that you can manage any field, that management and administration is a field of it’s own.

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