An investigation is being initiated on a Florida teacher who allegedly banned students from wearing Christian crosses in her classroom, according to The Daily Caller.
Jane Riedas, a math teacher in Tampa, Fla., is the subject of the investigation. Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit litigation group that promotes religious freedom, sent a letter to Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins, describing Riedas’ actions:
“We write on behalf of parents of children in the classroom of teacher Lora Jane Riedas, a math teacher at Riverview High School, who report that Ms. Riedas has prohibited at least three children from wearing Christian cross necklaces in her classroom, claiming on occasion that they are ‘gang symbols.’
“One of our student clients reports that she had just sat down in class, and placed her books on her desk, when Ms. Riedas approached her. Referencing the tiny cross necklace which was around the student’s neck, Ms. Riedas said, ‘I need you to take your necklace off.’ When the student asked why, Riedas allegedly refused to explain and then stated, ‘That’s disrespectful; you have to take it off.'”
The letter states the student “did not want to be disrespectful, so she took it off, but she felt bad because she felt she was being forced to deny her faith. All of our clients are afraid to openly wear their cross necklaces in class anymore.”
Riedas is a member of GLSEN, which advocates for LGBTQ issues in K-12 education, and apparently promotes the LGBT agenda in her classroom. According to the letter, her classroom is decorated in an LGBT political theme, including stickers, buttons, and posters.
Upon arriving at school one day, the letter says students found that their classroom folders had been decorated with LGBT rainbow stickers without their permission.
The school district reports it is now investigating the teacher, although it claims there have been no direct complaints from students.
In an email, Tanya Arja, public relations manager for Hillsborough County Public Schools, wrote, “We are in receipt of the letter from the Liberty Counsel. We have been in contact with the principal to initiate an investigation. However, the principal says she has not received a complaint from any student or parent regarding any claims made in the Liberty Counsel document regarding this teacher.”
Riedas has not responded to requests for comment.
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