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Ohio: Schools Taken to Task for Instructing Students to Make Idols for Ritual in Class

Admin : Jun 9, 2023  Frontlines Ohio

"In other words, the children were told by the teacher to make a kachina doll, give their doll a name, and to write about what special powers their doll had. To go further, the lesson plan states, 'These dolls were used in ceremonies to teach children about the beliefs of the tribe and the gods.' Clearly they are not toys." -Amie Mutti

(Lexington, OH) — [FrontlinesOhio.com] Education or indoctrination? The culture war continues to heat up in the classroom. In school, students are always learning new things by heart, and in some cases without the parents' consent. This past spring, parents attended a Lexington School Board meeting complaining their son was instructed to participate in a religious ritual during school hours. (Image: Screengrab-via Frontlines Ohio)

"On the week of February 13th, 2023, our eleven-year-old son was instructed by his fifth-grade teacher during Social Studies class to make a kachina doll," Amie Mutti told the Lexington School Board. "This is no ordinary doll. These dolls were used by Native Americans as sacred idols."

According to a handout given to the students, 'kachina dolls are a likeness of Hopi spirits and each Hopi spirit is thought to have special powers, like healing the sick, providing rain for crops, protecting children, and carrying dreams to Heaven.' Mutti compared her son's classroom experience to a teacher instructing students to pray the rosary during class.

"In other words, the children were told by the teacher to make a kachina doll, give their doll a name, and to write about what special powers their doll had," says Mutti. "To go further, the lesson plan states, 'These dolls were used in ceremonies to teach children about the beliefs of the tribe and the gods. Clearly they are not toys."

John Monaghan, Senior Litigation Counsel for the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) stepped into the fray by writing a letter to the Lexington School Board. "The law does not support the School's compulsion of student's speech under these circumstances," Monaghan wrote. "Accordingly, the School's decision presents a matter of great constitutional concern to the ACLJ. The instruction to make the doll interferes with the Mutti son's First Amendment rights as a student."

"Parents were never notified beforehand about this in-class project," Mutti went on to say. "Students were never given the opportunity to opt out of the project. In our faith tradition, the Scriptures say not to make any graven image or likeness of anything in Heaven above or earth below. Not only are we not to make idols, our faith tradition says we are not to bring idols into our homes. After the students completed their project, they were told by the teacher to take their dolls home." (Image: Kachina dolls-Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons-Jesse Walter Fewkes)

"Our faith community adheres to a Hebrew phrase, 'Ein keloheinu,' that states, 'There is no god like our GOD.' So you can see when innocent children are coerced to create dolls made in the likeness of spirits, this is in direct conflict with our Biblical faith tradition. This pagan ritual is an attack on our faith and has no place in public schools," [said] Rabbi William Hallbrook, Ontario Sar Shalom Center

According to 3313.601 of the Ohio Revised Code, "No pupil shall be required to participate if contrary to religious convictions of either the pupil or the pupil's parent/guardian." Additionally, "No board of education of a school district shall adopt any policy or rule respecting or promoting an establishment of religion."

In January 2022, parents sued the State of California and were successful in permanently removing the "In Lak Ech Affirmation" from state curriculum.  This state mandate previously allowed public schools to force students in Ethnic Studies to chant to the Aztec deity of human sacrifice named "Tezcatlipoca" to help students become "warriors for social justice." This same deity is also connected to cannibalism.

Mutti has already spoken to the Lexington School Board before. "This is the fourth time we have had issues; the problem is systemic. Whether it was a teacher requiring my third-grade son during class to bow to the 'sun god' and use 'devotional praying hands' in front of his heart, or whether it was another teacher ridiculing my sixth-grade son for not participating in classroom yoga, all this has been during Mr. Secrist's watch, who was Assistant Superintendent at the time."

Some people are scratching their heads concerning Secrist's family background. Secrist's wife is a certified yoga instructor employed by a local elementary school outside the district to teach yoga. She self-identifies as "The Catholic Yogi" and is also affiliated with Mind, Body, Align, a business which holds seminars training educators to incorporate Eastern Religion and Social Emotional Learning in the classroom.

In 2020, Rabbi William Hallbrook, along with clergymen representing over one hundred congregations, put forty school districts on notice after reports were confirmed several schools were incorporating Eastern Religion into classroom activities. "There is no room for classroom indoctrination; we even had an atheist publication out of Chicago agree with our position. I like the previous Superintendent's response (Mike Ziegelhofer) when we brought this infringement to his attention. He addressed the issue swiftly."

The Ontario Sar Shalom Center Rabbi commented, "The Mutti family is very active in our congregation. Our faith community adheres to a Hebrew phrase, 'Ein keloheinu,' that states, 'there is no god like our GOD.' So you can see when innocent children are coerced to create dolls made in the likeness of spirits, this is in direct conflict with our Biblical faith tradition. This pagan ritual is an attack on our faith and has no place in public schools."

With a prominent First Amendment law firm sending a correspondence to School Administration and a formal complaint made with the School Board, the student's parents have received nothing back in writing from the School Superintendent. Apparently parents are at the bottom of his totem pole. Subscribe for free to Breaking Christian News here

The Bottom Line:

The Bible says in Deuteronomy Chapter Seven, "The images of their gods you are to burn in the fire...Do not bring a detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction."







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