Atheist, 7, sparks Indiana lawsuit

Atheist, 7, sparks Indiana lawsuit

A seven-year-old Indiana student was “banished” from sitting with his classmates at lunch after stating that he did not believe in God, according to a lawsuit which claims the school violated the child’s First Amendment rights.

The suit – filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Indiana – claims the punishment occurred after the Forest Park Elementary School student, identified only as AB, told a female classmate that he didn’t go to church and didn’t believe in God.

This so uset the girl that she started to cry, saying that that AB had hurt her feelings.

This immediately put me in mind of the spoilt, lisping Violet-Elizabeth Bott:

If you don’t believe in God I’ll thcream and thcream and thcream ’till I’m thick.

The girl’s visible distress prompted a playground supervisor to report the incident to AB’s teacher, identified in the suit as Michelle Myer.

Myer then forced the boy to sit by himself at lunch for three days, and told him that he shouldn’t talk to the other students because he had offended them.

The lawsuit states that this was distressing to AB, as it implied that he had done something wrong by expressing his personal opinion.

However, according to the suit, the hurt did not end there.

The matter was then sent to “another adult” employed at Forest Park. Upon hearing the story, the adult reportedly told AB’s “Miss Bott” that she should be “happy she has faith” and that:

She should not listen to AB’s bad ideas.

Jesus’s precious little flower  was then rewarded for her faith with a pat on her hand.

AB’s mother found out about the incident from her son, who came home from school upset and stating that he was hated by teachers and students at the school.

This prompted his mother to call the assistant principal of the school, demanding that her child not be punished for expressing his views on religion.

In response to the incident, the school district released a statement:

It is clear that it is not the province of a public school to advance or inhibit religious beliefs or practices. Under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution, this remains the inviolate province of the individual and the church of his/her choice. The rights of any minority, no matter how small, must be protected.

Citing the violation of First Amendment rights, the suit is seeking damages and attorneys’ fees. The child’s mother has been allowed to proceed with the lawsuit anonymously, in order to protect her child’s identity.

13 responses to “Atheist, 7, sparks Indiana lawsuit”

  1. Broga says:

    Already the tearful girl is learning the habit of being felt victimised by those who don’t accept her beliefs. She also gets her fragile feelings responded to and supported by teachers who should know better. I wonder if they are fit to teach if they isolate a seven year old for saying what he thinks.

  2. sailor1031 says:

    Fit to teach? Obviously not fit to teach in an american school. Maybe in a Madrassa somewhere……
    But this was in Indiana, doG’s country. every bit as benighted religiously as Mississippi and Louisiana.

  3. 1859 says:

    The teachers should have kept their religious mouths shut and let the girl, despite her distress, come to terms with the fact that other views of the world exist and have every right to exist. But just look at the girls response – she cries, she is visibly upset – doesn’t this prove (if ever proof was needed) just how damaging exposing children to religious superstition can be? Before she has even begun to think for herself this girl’s mind has been poisoned by some superstitious, adult gobshites. AB should be given the atheist of the year award.

  4. Lucy1 says:

    My daughter told a xtian classmate that she did not believe in god. They were about 7. The lovely xtian’s response was that she would go to hell. My girl was not fussed. I raised her good!!

  5. barriejohn says:

    Religion can be such a comfort in this strange world.

  6. Hmmmm says:


    This brat has learned the lesson on how to be a victimised christian very well … Gold star. A young mind well on the way to a life of bigoted obedient uncritical thinking. Shameful. Well done us of a. You are going down unless you get the pious under control. In god you trust to fuck up your whole country. Land of the free? Yeah right. Land of the dumbass christian fuckwits in my view.

  7. Laura Roberts says:

    I give the school district credit for understanding and respecting the Constitution. Many (especially in the Bible Belt) would not.

  8. AgentCormac says:

    OT, but I see another secular blogger has been hacked to death in Bangladesh.

  9. Stephen Mynett says:

    Not that OT AC, perhaps some of these religionists who are constantly crying persecution should be made to see how others are treated for their beliefs and non-beliefs.

    This thing with the seven-year-old is only different because it did not end in physical violence, the core issue is someone who is willing to think and consider alternatives is alienated my a brainwashed/deluded mob.

  10. There is no god. says:

    Not strictly OT … This is what religion drives people to do. Islam doing its gods work again.
    Islam .. A religion of peace …yeah right.
    No religion is a religion of peace.

  11. Marky Mark says:

    Indiana… I’m not surprised. If one is a cold-blooded murderer and convicted in that state, they will set you free if you convert to christianity. Silvia Lykins and Shanda Sharer are just two victims, tortured to death by others who were set free once converted.
    Also, Charles Manson spent some time in an Indiana christian reform school in his youth where he was beaten and raped…and that is how he formed his opinions about religion and violence that he would practice later

  12. Vanity Unfair says:

    At the age of seven AB obviously has no reasonable knowledge of the existence of gods and is merely repeating what he has been told at home.
    I blame the parents.