A large Delaware school district promoted Christianity so aggressively that a Jewish family felt it necessary to move to Wilmington, two hours away, because they feared retaliation for filing a lawsuit. The religion (if any) of a second family in the lawsuit is not known, because they're suing as Jane and John Doe; they also fear retaliation. Both families are asking relief from "state-sponsored religion."
This is in a blue state, people.
Among numerous specific examples in the complaint was what happened at plaintiff Samantha Dobrich's graduation in 2004 from the district's high school. She was the only Jewish student in her graduating class. The complaint relates that local pastor, Jerry Fike, in his invocation, followed requests for "our heavenly Father's" guidance for the graduates with:
I also pray for one specific student, that You be with her and guide her in the path that You have for her. And we ask all these things in Jesus' name.
Not only is this school-sponsored, religiously-inclusive prayer, but the pastor singled out a non-Christian student.
In addition to the ruined graduation experience, the Dobrich-Doe lawsuit alleges that:
The district's "custom and practice of school-sponsored prayer" was frequently imposed "on impressionable non-Christian students," which violated their constitutional rights.
District teachers and staff led Bible clubs at several schools. Club members got to go to the head of the lunch line.
While Bible clubs were widely available, student book clubs were rare and often canceled by the district.
One of the district's middle schools gave students the choice of attending a special Bible Club if they did not want to attend a lesson on evolution.
A middle school teacher told students there was only "one true religion" and gave them pamphlets for his surfing ministry.
Samantha Dobrich's honors English teacher frequently discussed Christianity, but no other religion.
I'm sorry, has America suddenly become Germany in the 1930s?
Classmates accused Alex Dobrich of "killing Christ" and he became fearful about wearing his yarmulke, the complaint recounts.
Now, why do you think these students believe the Jews killed this "Christ" figure? Because they've done extensive research in the matter? These Bible clubs look at primary sources? No, it's because their parents have taught them that the Jews killed Christ. This is why parents must not be allowed to indoctrinate their children.
But wait! There's more!
The Dobriches refinanced their home so that Mona and Alexander could move to Wilmington, away from a situation that had become untenable, according to the complaint; Marco stayed behind because of his job.
Ultimately, it continues, the expense of two households forced the Dobriches to sell their home. And Samantha was forced to withdraw from the joint program she attended at Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. She is being treated for depression.
The lawsuit states that the Doe family wants to remain anonymous in order to avoid the retaliation experienced by the Dobrich family. Jordan and Jane Doe are also suffering from depression related to their opposition with the Indian River School District's religion policy.
The families seek to recover damages and to compel changes in the school district's policy.
That policy, however, remains elusive.
This is not some out-of-the-way hamlet in rural America. This is suburban, liberal America. And there are undoubtedly similar situations occurring throughout the rest of the country.
Apologists claim that religion is alright as long as people keep it to themselves. But that never happens. Parents will indoctrinate the moldable minds of their children, and the cycle will never end. As long as parents are permitted to brainwash their children, Dobriches and Does across the country will be oppressed.