A Pennsylvania parent filed a formal complaint last month with his local school district over the Star of David necklace worn by his son’s teacher.
A teacher at the East Pennsboro Middle School is now being scrutinized for wearing a necklace with the Star of David, after two students reportedly complained about the religious emblem. Now one parent is taking action against the teacher’s alleged disregard for the separation of church and state. According to ABC-27, Ernest Perce recently filed a complaint with the East Pennsboro Area School District in Enola, Pennsylvania, because he personally feels the teacher has violated the law.
In 1949, Act 14 (Sect.1112) prohibited teachers in public school from wearing any type of religion emblems or symbols. Displays of such imagery in classrooms is also prohibited. So, of course, Perce is depending on the law to back the claims he stated in the complaint.
Students “are there to learn about education, not to learn about religious points of view,” Perce told ABC 27 in November. “If a child is subjected to a teacher where a symbol of Judaism is allowed to skirt the law, I believe that a Muslim should be allowed to cover her head as well as a Christian to cover her head like the Bible commands,” he said.
Perce is no stranger to religious controversy. In 2012, while still atheist, he protested against the state declaring that year “The Year of the Bible”, and that Halloween he created a stir by dressing up as “zombie Mohammed”. He was assaulted by a Muslim for the offence, reported JTA, but the presiding judge in the case against the attacker actually rebuked Perce for his incitement.
Although the district’s lawyer would not comment to ABC, Perce received a letter saying the board would not require the teacher to remove the necklace. Perce has threatened to advance legal action against the school and the district, which could result in fines for the board and suspension for the teacher.
In the meantime, ABC reported, Perce’s son has been moved to a different class, which is a shame, because he actually liked the teacher in question.