Any teacher who ridicules or humiliates a student for disagreeing with him isn't an educator but an indoctrinator. Challenging a student to defend his position is perfectly legitimate. This guy went too far.
James Corbett, a 20-year teacher at Capistrano Valley High School, was found guilty of referring to Creationism as "religious, superstitious nonsense" during a 2007 classroom lecture, denigrating his former Advanced Placement European history student, Chad Farnan. ....High school teacher guilty of insulting Christians | corbett, religion, court, farnan, selna - News - OCRegister.com
"Corbett states an unequivocal belief that Creationism is 'superstitious nonsense,'" U.S. District Court Judge James Selna said in a 37-page ruling released from his Santa Ana courtroom. "The court cannot discern a legitimate secular purpose in this statement, even when considered in context."
In a December 2007 lawsuit, Farnan, then a sophomore, accused Corbett of repeatedly promoting hostility toward Christians in class and advocating "irreligion over religion" in violation of the First Amendment's establishment clause.
The establishment clause prohibits the government from making any law "respecting an establishment of religion" and has been interpreted by U.S. courts to also prohibit government employees from displaying religious hostility. ....
"To entertain an exception for conduct that might be characterized as isolated or de minimis undermines the basic right in issue: to be free of a government that directly expresses disapproval of religion," Selna said.
Farnan's lawsuit had cited more than 20 inflammatory statements attributed to Corbett, including "Conservatives don't want women to avoid pregnancies – that's interfering with God's work" and "When you pray for divine intervention, you're hoping that the spaghetti monster will help you get what you want."
In an April 3 tentative ruling, however, Selna dismissed all but two of the statements as either not directly referring to religion or as being appropriate in the context of a class lecture, including the headline-grabbing "When you put on your Jesus glasses, you can't see the truth." [more]