In "Reading Class" at West Memorial Junior High in Katy, Texas, the teacher issued students a deceptively simple assignment: classify a series of statements as either "factual claim," "commonplace assertion," or "opinion."
Perhaps it's valuable to learn how to parse these tricky designations, but this middle school teacher slid into a metaphysical hole when one of the statements read: "There is a God."
When one student—a 12-year-old named Jordan Wooley—predictably asserted she believed God to be both a "factual claim" and an "opinion," so the teacher, ABC Houston reports, responded by saying:
"She told us it was wrong and a myth of our imagination that is commonly believed to be true but completely wrong," Wooley said. "For her to tell me my religion was wrong shocked me. To me there is a God."
Later, she texted her mom about the incident:
A website titled "The Right Scoop" has video of Wooley speaking in front of the Katy School Board about the incident Monday. Her mother filed a complaint to the principal hours earlier, according to the Washington Post:
"I think that the teacher crossed a serious line when she led impressionable minds to write there was no God…that God wasn't real. I think that infringes on my child's rights," Jordan's mother, Chantel Wooley, told ABC Houston. She also told the news station that she believes the teacher, who has not been identified, should be fired; the district said "appropriate personnel action" will be taken.
On Twitter, Texas governor Greg Abbott posted video of Wooley's speech to the school board, deeming Wooley to be "Texas tough."
After her speech, Katy Independent School District Superintendent Alton Frailey told Wooley that they would be "looking into it." "We very much appreciate it," Frailey said. "It was very brave of you. Thank you, honey. Good job, honey.”
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.