A Texas teacher came under fire for sharing a video of her students reciting a Bible verse during class.
In a now-deleted video recorded at Brown Primary School in Smithville, Texas, first-grade teacher Susan Schobel posted a clip of her students reading a passage from the book of Romans, reports Fox 7.
In the footage, the class can be heard saying:
“Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good.”
Shortly after the post, many reacted to the video.
Several supporters shared their thoughts on the clip. One commenter wrote on Facebook:
I’ve been wanting to this my whole teaching career, but thought I couldn’t. You are amazing.
As a parent I love it! I got your back!
In response to the post, the teacher defended her actions, although Bible readings and prayer in public schools became unconstitutional following the 1963 Supreme Court ruling.
Schobel called herself “a rule breaker” and said she’s willing to lose her job over teaching her students about Jesus.
However, her video sparked backlash from parents who were not okay with Schobel violating the constitution. Some wrote:
The teacher is breaking the law, and she knows it … The teacher has a right to her religion and to practice her faith, but when she’s teaching in a public school she’s a public employee. If she wishes to teach her faith she can volunteer to teach Sunday school, or she can leave the public school entirely and go teach at a parochial school.
We are a Country of mixed Culture, I believe there are lessons that can be taught in home, and in church. Schools is not one of them, Unless the Teacher is going to read from all religions …
According to Fox News, the Smithville community overwhelming supported Schobel for having her children recite what she described as a “daily Bible verse.”
One of her supporter, Dane Garrison, started an #Istandwithsusan hashtag.
I believe everyone has a right to stand up for what they believe in. So do I.. #istandwithsusan I believe in love and kindness being taught in our classrooms.
Superintendent Cheryl Burns said in a statement that the district encourages “these freedoms” and welcomes:
“The diversity of thought, worship, ideas and speech in our community.
We support the right of students to express themselves. We support our employees’ free speech and free exercise rights as well, while being mindful of their on-duty responsibilities.”
Congratulations to Susan Schobel on receiving the 3rd Six Weeks TIGER Award. pic.twitter.com/djXy5mChNt
— Brown Primary School (@bpcubs) January 19, 2017
Smithville ISD did not comment on disciplinary actions taken against the teacher.