‘We Do Not Allow Sectarian Materials’: Charter School Removes Books Over Christian Content

Library pdTEMECULA, Calif. — A Christian legal organization in California is denouncing officials at a charter school in the state for removing books from its library simply because they were deemed to be Christian.

The Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), based in Sacramento, reports that Springs Charter Schools, also known as River Springs Charter Schools, recently targeted books because of their content or religious affiliation.

The school, which is stated to be “created and operated by parents” according to its “Vision and Mission” page on its website, also outlines, “We value parent choice and involvement, using the community as the classroom, fostering a child’s innate creativity, collaborating to achieve goals, building relationships, and personalizing learning.”

PJI says that they were contacted by a concerned parent whose children attend the school, who noted that books such as The Hiding Place, written by Holocaust survivor Corrie ten Boom, were being removed from the shelves. The unidentified parent stated that they were advised by library personnel that they had been instructed to pull any Christian-themed publications, as well as any books written by Christian authors or distributed by Christian publishers.

The legal organization then sent a cease and desist letter last month, asserting that the removal of the books violated the First Amendment as it constituted a content-based restriction. But Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Hermsmeyer responded by outlining, “We . . . do not allow sectarian materials on our state-authorized lending shelves.”

“It is alarming that a school library would attempt to purge books from religious authors. Indeed, some of the greatest literature of Western Civilization comes from people of faith,” PJI President Brad Dacus stated in a press release about the matter. “Are they going to ban the sermons or speeches of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? What about the Declaration of Independence, which invokes the laws of nature and nature’s God?”

“We are calling on Springs Charter Schools to immediately reverse their ill-conceived and illegal book-banning policy,” he said.

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The organization has now filed a public records request over the matter and says that it is “prepared to take further legal action” if the school continues to target books because of their Christian content or affiliation.

As previously reported, Christian legal groups became involved last year when a teacher at Margarita Middle School, also in Temecula, rejected the Bible as being as acceptable fulfillment of an assignment to read a nonfiction book.

“The teacher said, ‘That’s not a nonfiction book,’” attorney Bob Tyler of Advocates for Faith and Freedom told Christian News Network. “[The student] said, ‘Well, honestly, I believe it is a nonfiction book. The teacher then said in a sharp tone, ‘Well, I’ll get back to you.’”

Moments later, the teacher walked to the front of the class to poll the other students about the matter.

“[H]e went to the front of the classroom and in a very demeaning tone, asked the students, ‘How many of you think the Bible is nonfiction?” Tyler explained. “[He was] expecting that no one would raise their hand and this bully would find favor with all of the students.”

However, the table was quickly turned on the teacher.

“Instead, what he found is that all but two kids in the class raised their hand and agreed with our client that the Bible is not fiction,” Tyler said. “In an ironic turn of events, the bully teacher in this case was proven not to really have the ability to humiliate our client. Instead, he was the one humiliated.”

The teacher later granted the student credit for reading the Bible to fulfill the assignment.


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  • ronald54321

    Fascist statist.

    • Greg_Deane

      If libraries remove all the books with Christian iconography and allusions, they might as well close down. They would only be left with accounting and computer science that are probably out of date anyway.

    • BobbyHead

      Yes, Godless feminist facist statist.

      • Amy jones

        Hitler burned the books- a man! Evil, tyrannical people of both genders are threats to humanity and must be stopped! The principals gender isnt the issue here, her lack of character is.

  • James Grimes

    The principal is on a crusade to wipe out Christianity in her school. What about Islam? Will she dare take the chance to offend Muslims? Most likely, not. Who is this feminist any way? What are her qualifications?

    • skwills

      I dont think Islam or Feminism are briached in the Article.

      • Ralph

        Feminism isn’t a religious belief.

        • skwills

          Actually it is.

          Religion is the Fundamental Understandign of the orld we liv ein.

          Wuth that said, I just said the topic was not breached so nto sure why you are addressing me.

    • Ralph

      Yes, books about Islam were also removed from the library.

      • James Grimes

        What is your source for this information?

        • jmichael39

          I can never understand why a public school feels compelled to do what the world’s greatest library has never contemplated doing. The Library of Congress has one of the world’s richest collections of religious based books…why do these schools feel the need to remove them for their libraries. Surely not because of the Establishment Clause…the LOC proves that has no relevance in this matter.

  • Jennifer Pruitt

    You would have to remove the Narnia and Lord of The Rings books because of its parallels to Christianity! And most libraries have those!!!

    • Carlos H. Thorne

      I have not read anywhere in those books saying you are going to a place called “hell/hades” if you don’t believe what is written in them.

  • Babatunde Ogunsola

    THEY WANT TO THE KILL TRUTH AND PROMOTE LIES…IT HAS HAPPENED BEFORE… IT IS NOT NEW…THE TRUTH WILL ALWAYS PREVAIL…BABA

  • nam vet

    Don’t just ban ’em, burn ’em, ADOLPH !!

    • BobbyHead

      Funny.

  • BobbyHead

    This smells of godless feminist stench.

    • skwills

      Feminism? I didsagree with the Schools decision and find it discriminatory but I’m not sure how its Feminist.

  • Mark Williford

    Isn’t Socialism delightful? In the name of a higher immorality-the new morality becomes oppressive and vile. Go view former Soviet KGB Disinformation Officer Yuri Bezmenov’s insightful videos on how to brainwash a society. Then go read, “None dare call it conspiracy,” by Gary Allen

    • Ralph

      Parents are free to send their kids to a Christian school if they want a Christian education.

  • dcwc16

    No public money for any school that does not honor the Constitutional freedom of speech and censors reading material. Socialism on display. The community should be ashamed.

  • pnordman

    Unbelievable! Has Hitler been resurrected?

  • BO_stinks

    They’d have to ban some quotes from our founding fathers.

  • GTHSBB Momma

    Parents, why do you continue to subject your precious children to this abuse? Get them out of government schools (and yes, that clearly includes charter schools, too). Get your children into private schools, or better still, homeschool them. Homeschooling has a proven track record, and can be done on a shoestring budget. You know what the government schools are up to; you need to take responsibility for your kids’ education and their futures.

    • BobbyHead

      Yes public school are full of feminist stench ideas. Out to brain wash our boys.

      • jmichael39

        You’re like a top-40 radio station playing the same tune over and over and over again. She didn’t even say a word about feminism.

  • jmichael39

    Out of simple curiosity:

    1) if the Library of Congress can host books like the bible and other religious oriented books, why can’t our schools

    2) does this same school remove books like the Harry Potter series which focuses on witchcraft…a religion?

    • skwills

      1: This is a CHarter School, which recieved Public Money but is Privately controlled by the COmmunity, though the interconnection between it and Public Edication is cloder than a straight up Private School.

      But your Right, nothign in Law forbods Schools from postign books by any Author, including Relgiiosu ones.

      2: Withccraft is not a Religion. I know a lot of Wiccans make it out ot be but, Wicca isn’t real Witchcraft. Withccraft is the practice of usig Dark SPirits to accomplish personal ends, not a beleif system.

      • jmichael39

        Witchcraft – “the art or practices of a witch; sorcery; magic.”

        Sorcery – “the practices, or spells of a person who is supposed to exercise supernatural powers through the aid of evil spirits; black magic; witchery”

        “In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of a federal law requiring prisons to accommodate the religious practices and beliefs of inmates. In a case brought by a witch and a Satanist, the Court agreed that inmates in an Ohio state prison had been unconstitutionally denied their First Amendment rights to practice religion, and to access religious literature and ceremonial items.”

        As for your first point…the LOC is funded by public money…there is a definitive injustice that one can house any and all religious writings, but others cannot.

        • skwills

          I do’t understand hwo the Dictionary Definitions help you prove Withccraft is a Religion. They dont call it Religious, and Religion is actulaly defined as a Set of Beleifs regarding the nature, origin, and ultimate meaning of our existence, not simply using “SUpernatural powers”. We may liek to equate Relgion with the Supernatural, but ti snot relaly the same thing.

          Even the COurt Case ruled that a Satanist shoudl have access ot his Religiosu Materials, it did nt say Withccraft in itself is a Religion. Wiccan also liek to call themselves Witches, but icca is a Religion, not Withccraft. Wicca is also not Staanism, which in turn has different versions, the most ocmmon these days beng Lavayan, but ther are soem actual worshippers of Satan as well.

          I’d say this, just allow whatevr Religiosu text or writer int he Library.

  • keith bruner

    I guess they have just admitted that education and teaching young brains to think is NOT part of their curriculum. I appreciate their honesty, allows parents to make better choices of where to send their kids to school. I wish more schools would come out of the closet, so to speak..

    • BobbyHead

      The are a lot of lesbian teachers controlling our schools. Poor kids. Poor boys that will taught to be efiminate.

  • cmmcdonald72

    There is not a single book of literary and moral value that isn’t sectarian, Christian or otherwise. Libraries exist to faciltate the free exchange of ideas, particularly those which oppose each other. With out the clash of ideas present in our library system until recently we cannot encourage crtiical thinking and discussion of all ideas. Instead we are on the path to ending up like the Nazi’s who controlled what their population read and learned about, especially the youth.

    • BobbyHead

      The Bible is not sectarian.

  • BobbyHead

    Removing books from shelve is the cleaner way than burning books

  • BobbyHead

    Removing books from shelve is the cleaner way than burning books

  • adam easterling

    islams peacefull to they dont just burn the books they burn the the church and the peaple inside it . the feminazis are of the same cloth they just havent mestastasized yet

  • Eric Lindquist

    We are a Christian Family in Temecula. Our kids have attended Springs Charter School in Temecula, CA. We fully support our school and staff. This information was taken from a fox news opinion piece that shamefully misrepresented the school pertaining to its policy on Christian books and authors. Here is the response from the school setting the record straight.
    “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” James 1:19

    Springs Charter Schools Superintendent Responds to Query by Pacific Justice Institute

    TEMECULA, CA, September 24, 2014 – Kathleen Hermsmeyer, Superintendent of Springs Charter Schools, released the following statement regarding an August 22nd query by the Pacific Justice Institute:

    “On August 22, Michael Peffer of the Pacific Justice Institute contacted my office at Springs Charter Schools about a conversation that had occurred last summer between a parent of a Springs Charter Schools student and an employee of Springs Charter School, neither of whom were identified. The conversation took place in the Springs Resource Library, which is a warehouse for textbooks we use in our school programs (it is not actually a library, in fact, we have since renamed it the Curriculum Warehouse to eliminate any confusion). Due to the fact that our schools are independent study charter schools, we do not maintain traditional lending libraries. According to the letter, the unidentified Springs employee told the unidentified parent that he/she was instructed to “remove all books with a Christian message, authored by Christians, or published by a Christian publishing company.”
    At Springs Charter Schools, we’re pleased to welcome families of a variety of religious backgrounds, including many Christians, and do not discriminate against or disparage anyone because of their religious beliefs. We can and do provide educational novels with religious perspectives, including Corrie ten Boom’s The Hiding Place. However, like every other public school in the State of California, we cannot legally maintain religious textbooks on our warehouse shelves for distribution to our families. Donated items are made available to our families at no cost. Any and all donated items are not incorporated onto the shelves of our Curriculum Warehouse. The only materials we maintain on the shelves of our Curriculum Warehouse are items we have purchased ourselves in accordance with the laws of our State.
    We regret that our policy has been perceived by some as hostility toward a particular religious perspective. It is not. We value all of our families and respect their personal beliefs, and each day strive to give our students a quality public school education in accordance with the laws of our State.”

    Springs Charter Schools are tuition-free, public schools of choice serving more than 6,000 California school children and their parents. Many Springs parents choose to homeschool full-time, while others choose two to five days per week of a blended model that includes classroom instruction with home study. Springs serves students with 14 student centers in the Counties of Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles. Springs Charter Schools’ administrative offices are located at 43466 Business Park Drive, Temecula, CA 92590. Phone: (951) 252-8800. Website: http://www.springscharterschools.org.

  • Eric Lindquist

    We are a Christian Family in Temecula. Our kids have attended Springs Charter School in Temecula, CA. We fully support our school and staff. This information was taken from a fox news opinion piece that shamefully misrepresented the school pertaining to its policy on Christian books and authors. Here is the response from the school setting the record straight.
    “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” James 1:19

    Springs Charter Schools Superintendent Responds to Query by Pacific Justice Institute

    TEMECULA, CA, September 24, 2014 – Kathleen Hermsmeyer, Superintendent of Springs Charter Schools, released the following statement regarding an August 22nd query by the Pacific Justice Institute:

    “On August 22, Michael Peffer of the Pacific Justice Institute contacted my office at Springs Charter Schools about a conversation that had occurred last summer between a parent of a Springs Charter Schools student and an employee of Springs Charter School, neither of whom were identified. The conversation took place in the Springs Resource Library, which is a warehouse for textbooks we use in our school programs (it is not actually a library, in fact, we have since renamed it the Curriculum Warehouse to eliminate any confusion). Due to the fact that our schools are independent study charter schools, we do not maintain traditional lending libraries. According to the letter, the unidentified Springs employee told the unidentified parent that he/she was instructed to “remove all books with a Christian message, authored by Christians, or published by a Christian publishing company.”
    At Springs Charter Schools, we’re pleased to welcome families of a variety of religious backgrounds, including many Christians, and do not discriminate against or disparage anyone because of their religious beliefs. We can and do provide educational novels with religious perspectives, including Corrie ten Boom’s The Hiding Place. However, like every other public school in the State of California, we cannot legally maintain religious textbooks on our warehouse shelves for distribution to our families. Donated items are made available to our families at no cost. Any and all donated items are not incorporated onto the shelves of our Curriculum Warehouse. The only materials we maintain on the shelves of our Curriculum Warehouse are items we have purchased ourselves in accordance with the laws of our State.
    We regret that our policy has been perceived by some as hostility toward a particular religious perspective. It is not. We value all of our families and respect their personal beliefs, and each day strive to give our students a quality public school education in accordance with the laws of our State.”

    Springs Charter Schools are tuition-free, public schools of choice serving more than 6,000 California school children and their parents. Many Springs parents choose to homeschool full-time, while others choose two to five days per week of a blended model that includes classroom instruction with home study. Springs serves students with 14 student centers in the Counties of Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles. Springs Charter Schools’ administrative offices are located at 43466 Business Park Drive, Temecula, CA 92590. Phone: (951) 252-8800. Website: http://www.springscharterschools.org.

  • thushjz

    I helped found a Core Knowledge Charter school here in Colo. in 2000 that my son attended for 7 years, the first meeting to found the school was in a church, and almost every single parent or group of parents were Christians.

  • Ralph

    The Bible is non-fiction? Lol! Jews do not take the Torah literally – and the Old Testament is a collection of stories from the Torah. I find it amusing that Christians have taken another group’s allegorical stories and tried to claim that the stories are factual and literal.

    • Bruce Morrow

      Don’t speak for others. Yes Jews do indeed take the Old Testament literally. Take for instance that the land of Israel does indeed belong to the Jews. That is a clear teaching found in the Bible (Old and New Testaments).

  • Ralph

    This information was taken from a fox news opinion piece that
    shamefully misrepresented the school pertaining to its policy on
    Christian books and authors. Here is the response from the school
    setting the record straight.

    Springs Charter Schools Superintendent Responds to Query by Pacific Justice Institute

    TEMECULA,
    CA, September 24, 2014 – Kathleen Hermsmeyer, Superintendent of Springs
    Charter Schools, released the following statement regarding an August
    22nd query by the Pacific Justice Institute:

    “On August 22,
    Michael Peffer of the Pacific Justice Institute contacted my office at
    Springs Charter Schools about a conversation that had occurred last
    summer between a parent of a Springs Charter Schools student and an
    employee of Springs Charter School, neither of whom were identified. The
    conversation took place in the Springs Resource Library, which is a
    warehouse for textbooks we use in our school programs (it is not
    actually a library, in fact, we have since renamed it the Curriculum
    Warehouse to eliminate any confusion). Due to the fact that our schools
    are independent study charter schools, we do not maintain traditional
    lending libraries. According to the letter, the unidentified Springs
    employee told the unidentified parent that he/she was instructed to
    “remove all books with a Christian message, authored by Christians, or
    published by a Christian publishing company.”
    At Springs Charter Schools, we’re pleased to welcome families of a variety of religious
    backgrounds, including many Christians, and do not discriminate against
    or disparage anyone because of their religious beliefs. We can and do
    provide educational novels with religious perspectives, including Corrie
    ten Boom’s The Hiding Place. However, like every other public school in
    the State of California, we cannot legally maintain religious textbooks
    on our warehouse shelves for distribution to our families. Donated
    items are made available to our families at no cost. Any and all donated
    items are not incorporated onto the shelves of our Curriculum
    Warehouse. The only materials we maintain on the shelves of our
    Curriculum Warehouse are items we have purchased ourselves in accordance
    with the laws of our State.
    We regret that our policy has been
    perceived by some as hostility toward a particular religious
    perspective. It is not. We value all of our families and respect their
    personal beliefs, and each day strive to give our students a quality
    public school education in accordance with the laws of our State.”

  • Carlos H. Thorne

    Ignorance by a majority is what makes false statements be accepted as true. If one writes something that can’t be proved to be true it is then FICTION.

  • Gjuro Kladaric

    rameeeen…