A story of apparent religious discrimination against a Pagan child was recently reported at http://atlanta.indymedia.org/local/children-have-rights-too
“Towards the end of October the Turner family was getting very excited for Halloween, or for them Samhain. For them it is not just a time to get free candy and dress up for a night, but rather it is a holiday to give thanks and to remember ancenstors for the lives they lived. Samhain fell on a Monday, and like any other religious holiday, Christopher did not attend school. The next day Christopher’s teacher, Mrs. Ross, pulled him out of class and proceeded to drill him about Paganism, ending the conversation with “Paganism is not a religion.” “
Many Pagans and supportive members of other faiths spread the story. Many also reached out to help. The current state of affairs is outlined in a joint public statement from the North GA Solitaires, the Covenant of the Goddess national chapter, their local council Dogwood Local Council, the Lady Liberty League, and Circle Sanctuary:
“After concerns spread about some problems with accommodating Pagan students needs at Bowdon Elementary School (BES), there was an overwhelming show of community support for the Turner family of Carroll County in western Georgia, USA. Many local Pagans and associated organizations reached out to assist the Turners by providing emotional support and offering practical advice. The Turners have been deeply touched by this out-pouring of spirit and wish to express their sincerest gratitude.
In addition, a Task Force of local and national Pagan organizations have come together to help resolve issues between the Turners and BES. The Task Force also hopes to provide the school with Pagan accommodation information and materials with the hopes of avoiding misunderstandings and other problems in the future. Represented in this group are the North Georgia Solitaries (NGS), both the local and national chapters of the Covenant of the Goddess, Circle Sanctuary and Lady Liberty League.
Currently, Carroll County Schools, led by the assistant superintendent, has expressed an active interest in resolving the current tensions and is planning to meet with Ms. Turner. The family and the Task Force are requesting that those with concerns about their situation do not directly contact the school or its employees. It is important that everyone involved have the maximum space needed to focus on resolving this conflict in a positive way. However, all concerned individuals are welcome to show their support for the Turners through the Turner Family Support Facebook fan page or through the simple use of prayers and energy toward a peaceful resolution and healing.”