Teacher Suspended For Telling Student To Read Bible

Full story: WFMY-TV Greensboro

A high school teacher was placed on indefinite administrative leave after admitting that he told a student to "just read your Bible." That's according to a letter in teacher John Fulkerson's personnel file ...
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Retired2005

Bolton, Canada

#1 Jun 5, 2006
Bet nothing would have been said though had he suggested the student read the Koran.
Mark from Idaho

Minneapolis, MN

#2 Jun 5, 2006
Retired2005 wrote:
Bet nothing would have been said though had he suggested the student read the Koran.
He would have been applauded if he had said to read the Koran. It would have been seen as an example of how tolerant and open-minded he was! The government attacks anything that has to do with conservative traditional values or common sense. It supports anything that is completely wacked-out. Wonderful school system we have. No wonder kids are so screwed up.
aiki_mcr

San Francisco, CA

#3 Jun 6, 2006
Check again. His comment was construed as promoting a particular religion. If he'd told him to read the Quran with the same apparent motivation, he'd still be in trouble.

Actually, quite aside from the religion involved, I've had teachers and coaches like this, I think (though I can't *actually* say this guy is like this, it seems likely). "Just read your bible" is semantically equivalent to "You're stupid" coming from them. Of course, any bit of advice you get from them is semantically equivalent to "You're stupid" coming from them.
S from Knoxville

Knoxville, TN

#4 Jun 6, 2006
If it had been the koran nothing would have been said. Not that someone makeing that comment suprises me.
Mark from Idaho

Minneapolis, MN

#5 Jun 6, 2006
S from Knoxville wrote:
If it had been the koran nothing would have been said. Not that someone makeing that comment suprises me.
I agree - If he had said the Koran, nothing would have been done.
Even though the school policy is supposed to be about not promoting a particular religion, that is not how the policy is applied. It is actually applied to attack anyone who is not "politically correct" in the eyes of the individuals who comprise the Knox County Board of Education.
Country Girl

United States

#6 Jun 7, 2006
S from Knoxville wrote:
If it had been the koran nothing would have been said. Not that someone makeing that comment suprises me.
You are absolutely right. I wish the article gave more details. I would assume that the ACLU (Anti Christian Lawyers Union) was involved. We are promised freedom OF religion not freedom FROM religion.
Reagan

United States

#7 Jun 7, 2006
S from Knoxville wrote:
If it had been the koran nothing would have been said. Not that someone makeing that comment suprises me.
If it had been the Satanic bible nothing would have been said!! I almost have to laugh because the Bible, God, and the name of Jesus is so threatening to the world!! And I guess freedom of speech doesn't exist outside of one's home. Unless your a liberal. Yeah, and I can smell the ACLU all over this one!! Thank "God" for the ACLJ and attornies like Jay Sekulow.
Christian Warrior

United States

#8 Jun 7, 2006
Country Girl wrote:
<quoted text>
You are absolutely right. I wish the article gave more details. I would assume that the ACLU (Anti Christian Lawyers Union) was involved. We are promised freedom OF religion not freedom FROM religion.
The Constitution means nothing anymore to the leftists except to(and this may sound crude)wipe their backsides with it!!! If the liberal left only new that the reason this nation is so blessed is because of the Christians. When we are finaly out of here this nation is going to fall hard on her face.
aiki_mcr

San Francisco, CA

#9 Jun 7, 2006
I think you people all underestimate just how broad the feeling of "No Religion in Schools" is. It really isn't "No Christianity", it's "No Religion". I see it in the carefully sanitized literature sent home from school. The "balanced" approach to discussing world religion when such is required.

You can decry this all you like, but it's people like this teacher who have brought this about. People who can't simply be true to their faith, but try to insist that others should follow it as well.

In this, they are no different than any other fundamentalists of any religion.
Country Girl

United States

#10 Jun 7, 2006
aiki_mcr wrote:
I think you people all underestimate just how broad the feeling of "No Religion in Schools" is. It really isn't "No Christianity", it's "No Religion". I see it in the carefully sanitized literature sent home from school. The "balanced" approach to discussing world religion when such is required.
You can decry this all you like, but it's people like this teacher who have brought this about. People who can't simply be true to their faith, but try to insist that others should follow it as well.
In this, they are no different than any other fundamentalists of any religion.
That may apply in your area. Here however, they are taught about the Muslim faith in order to embrace diversity. They are taught about Native American spirit guides as a part of earth day and this one seems to pop up at Thanksgiving also. Then there is the topic of the theory of evolution.(I really don’t want to start a debate about that here; there are other forums for that.) I don’t actually have time to fully express my thought right now. I will try to post my story later.
Just Thinking

Dearborn, MI

#11 Jun 7, 2006
I'm going to appoint aiki_mcr to do all my talking from now on. I agree.
aiki_mcr wrote:
I think you people all underestimate just how broad the feeling of "No Religion in Schools" is. It really isn't "No Christianity", it's "No Religion". I see it in the carefully sanitized literature sent home from school. The "balanced" approach to discussing world religion when such is required.
You can decry this all you like, but it's people like this teacher who have brought this about. People who can't simply be true to their faith, but try to insist that others should follow it as well.
In this, they are no different than any other fundamentalists of any religion.
Michele Stephens

Knoxville, TN

#12 Jun 7, 2006
Retired2005 wrote:
Bet nothing would have been said though had he suggested the student read the Koran.
This person does not have the whole facts! I have two kids that play for this coach, he is a believer and prays with the kids, I know b/c I am there! This alleged family is not handlng this biblically and is taking a child who is not respectful to teachers and making a false accusation regardng Coach Fulkerson. How can you persecute something you are??!!!
aiki_mcr

San Francisco, CA

#13 Jun 7, 2006
Just Thinking wrote:
I'm going to appoint aiki_mcr to do all my talking from now on. I agree.
<quoted text>
"If nominated I will not run. If elected I will not serve."

I appreciate the compliment, but I speak for no one but myself.

Still, I do appreciate the compliment.

This whole religion/no-religion argument has really gotten out of hand on both sides. I'm ready to take all the radical supporters of both ends of the argument, put them in a locked room and not let them come out until they talk to each other in a civil manner.

The problem with that, I think, is that it would be tantamount to murder. They'd all kill each other before they'd ever develop a civil tongue when dealing with each other.

It doesn't deal with people who are not radicals on either side of the argument who are feeling a bit, um, under siege from radicals at the other side, either.

As for the teacher who started this discussion. Throw the bum out. Even if it hadn't involved religion, he's got no business talking to a student that way. If I talked to my students like that, I'd have no students in no time. And the parents of *my* students *expect* me to be hard on them (instilling discipline, building character and all that).

He gets zero, zilch, none, not any sympathy from me.
Just Thinking

Dearborn, MI

#14 Jun 7, 2006
OK I'll try to benefit from your insight on the many subjects without resorting to plagiarism. You are correct again, however. Most people wouldn't object to a bit of discussion on either side of most issues but the radicals on the ends of the curve make all the noise and cause the predictable over reaction. A bit of tolerance and flexibility would go a long way in eliminating the entire controversy in most cases.
aiki_mcr wrote:
<quoted text>
"If nominated I will not run. If elected I will not serve."
I appreciate the compliment, but I speak for no one but myself.
Still, I do appreciate the compliment.
This whole religion/no-religion argument has really gotten out of hand on both sides. I'm ready to take all the radical supporters of both ends of the argument, put them in a locked room and not let them come out until they talk to each other in a civil manner.
The problem with that, I think, is that it would be tantamount to murder. They'd all kill each other before they'd ever develop a civil tongue when dealing with each other.
It doesn't deal with people who are not radicals on either side of the argument who are feeling a bit, um, under siege from radicals at the other side, either.
As for the teacher who started this discussion. Throw the bum out. Even if it hadn't involved religion, he's got no business talking to a student that way. If I talked to my students like that, I'd have no students in no time. And the parents of *my* students *expect* me to be hard on them (instilling discipline, building character and all that).
He gets zero, zilch, none, not any sympathy from me.
aiki_mcr

San Francisco, CA

#15 Jun 7, 2006
Michele Stephens wrote:
<quoted text>
This person does not have the whole facts! I have two kids that play for this coach, he is a believer and prays with the kids, I know b/c I am there! This alleged family is not handlng this biblically and is taking a child who is not respectful to teachers and making a false accusation regardng Coach Fulkerson. How can you persecute something you are??!!!
Respectful to teachers?!?!

You know, I remember when I was in school I got this one leveled at me on more than one occasion. Like the teacher who slammed me against a wall because I decided I'd rather read a good book than play kickball (stupid game, always hated it, heck, I'd rather run laps for an hour than play kickball). The teachers most likely to tell me I was being disrespectful were the ones who had failed to respect me.

A disproportionate number of them taught physical education of some sort.

Praying with the kids? Yep, breaking the law makes you so much better a person.

If the quote, "just read your Bible" is verbatim, this coach needs a *long*(possibly permanent) vacation. It was about as disrespectful of a student as you can get. It doesn't even matter that it had anything to do with religion. It was dismissive and insulting.
Country Girl

United States

#16 Jun 8, 2006
Disrespectful; showing a lack of respect
Respect (verb); to pay attention to and refrain from violating something.

When I was in school, the teacher was the authority figure. This person was paid to impart knowledge to their students in what ever manor that they deemed fit. I despised the annual “physical fitness” tests that were required (by the federal government) each year. It is the teacher’s job to teach differing methods of physical activity. If you did not have a physical handicap that prevented you from playing kick ball, you were being disrespectful in choosing to do another activity.

In addressing the topic I started yesterday. Several years ago a similar situation took place here. The situation was different because the teacher did nothing wrong. He was a youth pastor. He was fired for fear that he might cross the line. I don’t want to give more details because the kids who stood up for him were marked as targets on some atheistic websites. They were at the time between the ages of 13 and 17. I found out that this information still comes up if you know what you are looking for. So to those of you in the Knoxville area, be very careful about letting your children make statements to national news media.

I would also love to know the context in which the statement was made.
Byron

United States

#17 Jun 9, 2006
If this kid was offended that easily, then they've got a lot deeper issues to deal with than this!
Canton Needs Jesus

United States

#18 Jun 9, 2006
Christian Warrior wrote:
<quoted text> The Constitution means nothing anymore to the leftists except to(and this may sound crude)wipe their backsides with it!!! If the liberal left only new that the reason this nation is so blessed is because of the Christians. When we are finaly out of here this nation is going to fall hard on her face.
Oh yes..lets all thank the christians who came to this country and founded it upon the blood of the american indians and the chinese and negro slaves,who founded the KKK and the NRA,who killed and tortured thousands of countless innocents to further thier own gains...

YAY!!
Just Thinking

Dearborn, MI

#19 Jun 9, 2006
I'm confused......
Canton Needs Jesus wrote:
<quoted text>
Oh yes..lets all thank the christians who came to this country and founded it upon the blood of the american indians and the chinese and negro slaves,who founded the KKK and the NRA,who killed and tortured thousands of countless innocents to further thier own gains...
YAY!!
aiki_mcr

San Francisco, CA

#20 Jun 27, 2006
Country Girl wrote:
When I was in school, the teacher was the authority figure. This person was paid to impart knowledge to their students in what ever manor that they deemed fit. I despised the annual �physical fitness� tests that were required (by the federal government) each year. It is the teacher�s job to teach differing methods of physical activity. If you did not have a physical handicap that prevented you from playing kick ball, you were being disrespectful in choosing to do another activity.
Oh, well, there's the problem, then.

I've never respected authority figures just because they were authority figures. Especially self-proclaimed authority figures. They start with the same respect I would accord any other human being, but they are held to a higher standard of expectation *because* they are authority figures. IOW, they lose my respect faster.

If the kickball incident had been an isolated one you might have had a point. But by the time it had come to this I was engaged in active, deliberate disobedience. This teacher had lost every shred of respect from me and I was going to please myself in his classes. I had nothing to lose, he'd made it clear that he was going to give me no credit for any efforts I made.

I think he ultimately gave me a passing grade in that class just to get rid of me.

Bottom line, for me, respect must be earned, even from children. Being abusive doesn't earn respect. At most, it will earn fear.

I never had a PE teacher that failed to lose my respect. Ever. More than any other teachers they never got it that my respect was *not* automatic and the one guaranteed way to lose my respect was to fail to treat me with respect.

This teacher failed to treat his student with respect. I'm happy to see him treated accordingly.

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