KATY, Texas – A day after officials in the Katy Independent School District accused a student of lying about a classroom assignment about God, several other students are coming forward to confirm her story.
West Memorial Junior High student Jordan Wooley, 12, testified before the school board Monday about a class assignment in which her reading teacher asked students to classify specific statements as fact, opinion or commonplace assertion – which the teacher characterized as a myth.
When Wooley and numerous other students answered fact to the statement “There is a God,” the teacher told them they’re wrong, God is a myth, Wooley said.
“When I tried to argue, (the teacher) told me to prove it, and I tried to reference things like the Bible and stories I have read before from people who have died and went to heaven but came back and told their stories,” Jordan told board members. “She told me both were just things people were doing to get attention.”
District and school officials allegedly investigated Wooley’s claims and concluded Tuesday that the assignment was “ill-conceived” and “determined that the classroom activity included an item that was unnecessary for achieving the instructional standard,” according to Fox 26.
The next day, Katy superintendent Alton Frailey called a press conference to allege Wooley is a liar.
“Nothing that the principal has found supports the assertions that the teacher deliberately threatened (students), or tried to force them to deny God,” he said.
“In the investigation those assertions were not corroborated by the other students. Was the activity graded? It was not graded. Was it 40 percent of their grade? Were the students told they had to deny God? No one corroborated that, at all,” Frailey said, according to ABC 13.
Frailey’s comments, of course, put a target on Wooley’s back.
“Jordan’s faith is continually being tested. She feels like she’s being made to be a liar when all that she did was tell the truth. I’ve encouraged her to stand by her faith and remember that when Christ was persecuted he prayed for those persecuting him,” Wooley’s mother, Chantel Wooley, posted to Facebook.
“She’s deeply distraught that close friends have turned their back on her, as am I. People that can verify this happened exactly as she has said. She’s incredibly upset and doesn’t want to go to school because of the fallout,” Chantel Wooley wrote. “She was harassed at school, she was flipped off in the hallway, she was cursed at and blamed for this situation that her teacher and administration has created. She has chosen to forgive them and pray for them. I ask you all to pray for us as her character is being attacked.”
Now, it’s Failey’s turn for public ridicule as numerous parents and students are stepping up to back Wooley’s story and call the superintendent out for attempting to sweep the situation under the rug.
“My son said the exact same thing that Jordan said,” a parent identified only as Deanna told Fox 26.
Deanna said her son received the same assignment on the same day in a different class.
“I asked him what were the instructions for the assignment? He said, ‘well we had to look at these statements and decide if it was fact, opinion, or myth,” said Deanna, who did not want to be identified for fear of retribution on her son.
“How did the word myth come into it?” Deanna said she asked her son. “He said we didn’t know what commonplace assertion meant so we asked the teacher. She said the definition of commonplace assertion is myth. So, we referred to it as myth in the class after that.”
“He told me that he absolutely was under the impression it was a graded assignment. That’s why they had the discussion of whether it would be right or wrong,” the mother continued. “That’s why he felt pressured, and he actually gave in, and changed his answer.”
Wooley told board members several students in her class were very upset over the “God is myth” assignment, but Deanna said that wasn’t the case in her son’s class.
“He says no one pressed her or argued with her,” Deanna told Fox 26. “I said why not? Why didn’t anyone say anything? And he said, ‘well, I guess because at the beginning of the year she told her class that she has a dark side, and they don’t want to see that side come out.'”
A different parent, whose child was in Jordan’s class, also confirmed the assignment was graded, and students were required to label God a myth or face the consequences.
“She was very upset, almost in tears because of the argument with the teacher,” the mother told the Republic Broadcasting Network. “The teacher told all of them it was going to be graded, and if you don’t put what she tells them, then you’re going to get it wrong.”
Fox 26 contacted that student’s parents, who declined to be interviewed and explained why in a text message.
“Seeing what Jordan is being put through at school, I am personally concerned for my child’s safety,” the mother wrote, according to the news site.
And while Frailey contends the district couldn’t find a single student to back up Jordan’s claims, Deanna believes he’s either lying or officials simply did not try very hard, at all.
“I sent two emails to the principal and I haven’t heard a thing,” she told Fox 26.
“I expressed to her that I felt his constitutional rights had been violated, and that I thought she (the teacher) broke the law, quite frankly, putting God on an assignment in a public school,” Deanna said. “I was horrified.”
The news site points out that Frailey on Wednesday told the media “If I had any reason to believe or evidence to support that a teacher did what has been alleged I would stand with Jordan as well.”
The statement, in light of the new evidence, begs the question: Is Frailey a man of his word?
Judging by the politically correct statement he issued to the media yesterday, the answer is no.
Chantel Wooley sounded off about the recent developments this morning.
“I feel (Frailey) proved he is not a man of his word. He said that no other parents came forward but that’s not true. More parents came forward and contacted the school and the principal ignored them. This information was excluded from their ‘investigation,’” Chantel Wooley posted to Facebook.
“He said publicly that if he had any information that would confirm Jordan’s story that he would stand with her too. Now it’s here and he still backs his dysfunctional administration. He’s a joke. He just wants this to go away… move on nothing to see here. However we teach our kids that if they make a mistake to admit it and confess it. We teach our children if they see something to say something. We teach our kids to follow their teachers as they are their authority at school… and this administration has defied those values. They’ve done nothing but lie and spin and attack the credibility of Jordan and me. It’s time to come clean.”