woman sues Crittenden School Board for religious remarks | WPKY 103.3 FM
A woman from Marion is suing the Crittenden County School Board, claiming a teacher imposed his religion on her third grade son.
Jennifer Wood filed the lawsuit in District Court for the Western District of the United States in Paducah on July 1. She names the school district and Crittenden County Elementary Deputy Principal Laurie Holcomb in the civil action.
Wood says she has four children in the Crittenden County school system, two of them in elementary school. She also claims that she is non-religious and intends to raise her children without religion.
According to the lawsuit, which is only part of the story, Wood said his son came home from school several times in the spring asking questions about the church and religion. The mother said that when she started asking questions, her child said her teacher was the source of the comments.
Wood, who is employed by the Audubon Early Head Start and Preschool program in Crittenden County, called the school principal, who she said told Wood they would investigate.
A day later, Wood said vice-principal Holcomb told him in a phone conversation that the school would take no action on the matter. The lawsuit described religious comments made by the teacher regarding the definition of the word alter, which the teacher defined as “when you go to church and kneel down and ask God to save you.”
Holcomb told Wood that the professor’s lesson was about homophones and that the professor’s words were perfectly appropriate. Wood countered that the words “alter” and “altar” are not homophones.
Wood claims in the lawsuit that soon after her bosses called her to a meeting and told her that the school district’s preschool principal had called and demanded that they take action against Wood and said that Holcomb ordered that Wood be professionally punished for objecting to his permission for a teacher to use religious imagery in a public school classroom.
Wood went on to say that the conduct of the school board and Holcomb was based on their objection to the content of Wood’s speech regarding the propriety of religious discussion in a public school classroom and his choice to raise his children without religion.
Wood seeks damages for severe emotional distress, emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish and other non-pecuniary losses to be determined at trial.
The teacher who made the religious comments was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit.