The ACLU says a sixth grader at a Sabine Parish high school was religiously harassed.
Negreet high school sits in a rural community south of Many.
The Federal lawsuit filed by the ACLU claims problems started when a student's science teacher belittled him after the teacher asked religious questions. The student is of Thai descent and practices Buddhism. The documents also say the teacher said his religion was "stupid".
The suit says "The school regularly incorporates official Christian prayer into class and school events. School officials display religious iconography throughout the hallways and classrooms, including a large portrait of Jesus Christ, and an electronic marquee in front of the school scrolls Bible verses as students enter the building."
The suit also claims when the boy's parents complained to the superintendent Sara Ebarb, she said "this is the Bible belt and he should change his faith or transfer to another district."
"All children deserve the right to a secular education. She taught that in her class that the Earth was created 6,000 years ago by God and that the Bible is one-hundred percent true," Deborah Allen with NWLA ACLU said.
The school board released the following statement:
"The Sabine Parish School Board has only recently been made aware of the lawsuit filed by the ACLU. A lawsuit only represents one side's allegations. And the board is disappointed that the ACLU chose to file a suit without even contacting it regarding the facts. The school system recognizes the rights of all students to exercise the religion of their choice and will defend this lawsuit vigorously."
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