Georgia History Teacher Takes Leave From Classroom Over Fight to Keep God in School

OsborneCANTON, Ga. — A history teacher in Georgia has taken leave from his classroom over his frustration that he may not speak about God in school.

John Osborne of Sequoyah High School in Canton says that he is using his time off to consider whether or not he will return to class as he does not feel supported by administrators. He states that he has spoken about Christianity in the classroom for years, but was recently the target of a complaint.

“I teach world history, so there is a lot of talk about religion, and really all I want is equality to talk about everything in America, including Christianity,” he told WGCL-TV in Atlanta.

Osborne said that he was accused of telling students that they would go to Hell for smoking pot, but he denies the allegations. He states that he only seeks to be a positive influence on students to help them to live honorable lives.

“I am not telling anybody they need to change. I am just sharing who I am. They need more guidance and love,” Osborne told reporters. “Let me tell you something, I am looking out for your kids, America. This ain’t about me judging them. I am trying to help. If you are not going to take care of your children, then we will.”

On Tuesday, hundreds of students rallied together for Osborne, assuming that he had been put on leave by the school. They also took to social media to express their support for the teacher. Some students were given slips to report to detention after they were late for class due to the rally.

The Cherokee County School District released a statement about the matter to reporters this week.

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“A group of students—under the mistaken impression that this teacher’s employment had been terminated by CCSD—staged an event during the school day,” it read. “It was halted by administrators, as students needed to report to class. No administrative disciplinary action has been taken against students for their participation in the event; some students were disciplined by their teachers upon returning to class due to tardiness.”

The district also affirmed that Osborne took leave on his own, and has not been fired by the district.

“The Sequoyah High School teacher in question remains a CCSD employee and no disciplinary action has been taken against him,” it outlined. “The teacher on Friday gave the school’s administration notice that he would be taking leave this week.”

As Osborne considers whether or not to return to class, he said that he will not stop speaking about Christianity in the classroom as it is an extension of his character.

“As I’ve grown in Christ, it has shown more in the classroom, and as it’s gotten stronger, I just feel like I’m not going to change who I am,” he said. “I’m not going to press my issue on you, but I’m going to be myself.”

“I do have the right to fight for what I believe in and talk about Jesus in the classroom,” Osborne stated.

As previously reported, the first textbook used in the American colonies even before the nation’s founding, The New England Primer, was largely focused on the Scriptures, and was stated to be popular in colonial schools for at least one hundred years. It used mostly the King James Bible as reference, and spoke much about sin, salvation and proper behavior.

“In Adam’s fall, we sinned all,” it read, in teaching children the alphabet, using Adam as an example of the letter A.

“Thy life to mend, this Book attend,” it continued for the letter B, referring to the Scriptures. “My Book and heart shall never part.”

“Christ crucified, for sinners died,” read the letter C.

Photo: USA Today/screenshot

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  • C.P. Steinmetz

    “He states that he has spoken about Christianity in the classroom for years.” So he admits that he has knowingly violated the law for years.

    “They need more guidance and love,” Osborne told reporters. “Let me tell you something, I am looking out for your kids, America. This ain’t about me judging them. I am trying to help. If you are not going to take care of your children, then we will.” Several interesting issues here:
    1. Is is part of the teaching contract to judge if students need more guidance and love? Is it additionally his place to supply it?
    2. It obviously “ain’t” about him using proper English either.
    3. I suspect he is really saying ‘If you are not going to teach your children about Christianity, then we [sic] will. What part of the history curriculum is that?

    “he said that he will not stop speaking about Christianity in the classroom as it is an extension of his character.” Then he will be fired – his choice.

    “I do have the right to fight for what I believe in and talk about Jesus in the classroom,” Osborne stated.” A large amount of case law says he doesn’t.

    It will be good if he moves on. The children at that school deserve a professional history teacher. And, as the school system has tolerated his illegal behavior for years, they should be investigated.

    • James J. Grimes

      I love the rants you post. You condemn anything that is good and worthy.

      • C.P. Steinmetz

        Why thank you. I do, however, prefer ‘diatribe’ to ‘rant’.

        I don’t condemn following the law of the land, which is good and worthy. So, I don’t condemn everything good and worthy. And, obviously, the things I comment on, I don’t consider good and worthy.

        I wonder if there is anything we would agree on as being ‘good and worthy’.

        • James J. Grimes

          “I wonder if there is anything we would agree on as being ‘good and worthy’.”

          Probably nothing. You’re an atheist with a secular worldview. I’m a Christian with a biblical worldview. There is nothing in common.

          • C.P. Steinmetz

            I am not as cynical. I think we agree on civility in conversations.

            I appreciate your views – and actually would agree with you on some – and find your civility good and worthy.

    • Andrei

      Who are atheists to tell us with faith there is no God? If they are so offended with a Bible in their presence, whats next? Burn all the Bibles? How far of a distance does a Bible have to be from an atheist to not get offended? Out of sight? Maybe if they read the Book they’d come back to their senses of reality. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we found out the secret to existence and find out of there is more life beyond our solar system? Where is this treasure we can find? In the most avoided book in the world, the Bible. Once you know and fully 100% understand the whole Bible, only then you have the actual legit right to speak anything about it against or not. You are a plain fool commenting about things you know nothing of. Sinner.

  • Kiska Jolene Lucas

    Religious indoctrination in schools is prohibited. This teacher is a blight on my Alma Mater. I was part of the fight to have S.O.S. (Spirit of Sequoyah) as a club then and met the requirements of a teacher sponsor but at no time was that sponsor to be the head of the organization nor was it to force others to listen. This kind of indifference to the students of other faiths is disgusting and not why I fought for SHS to have S.O.S. You want to teach about Jesus, then go to a parochial school, say out of the public schools as it is prohibited.

    If a teacher wanted to do the same for Muhammad or for Gerald Gardner people would be calling for them to be terminated.. what is good for one religion is good for all.

    • Bill Moore

      What you fail to acknowledge, is Jesus is a part of world history and our U.S. history. Because people like yourself have been indoctrinated into this “Free of God” mindset, the Constitution and Bill of Rights prohibit writing any law that restrict the practice or free expression of religion, nor shall the government establish a religion. The “public” school system is not a legislative institution, it is a learning (or supposed to be) institution that creates educated individuals. And yes part of that education includes God, the earth, science, good things, bad things,etc. We are all reaping the “anti-god” atheistic consequences, and though some are proud of the destructive results, the honest person however desires a better America and a better prepared student, would want God and Jesus back in this country and back in the school system. Sad to see young people like yourself Kiska be so brain-washed to rail against a man who just wants to include a part of our history which includes “God, Jesus and all his apostles” if you understand the Mick Dundee quote. But, “rail away”.

  • Gerald V.

    I find the words disgusting a bit strong. He’s upset cause you can talk about everything but the true history of our country. If it was Muhammed it would be the same thing. Our children deserve to know the truth, not be lied to so some Jewish kids or Muslim kid or whatever isn’t offended that our forefathers were Christians. That our constitution mentions God. That’s like the history of Rome minus the coliseum because we find that part offensive. Full disclosure in teaching, truth no matter what it is, needs to be taught. I don’t hear there being no talk of the crusades, just not the good stuff no talk of humanitarian aid or end of slavery. You’re blinded by the lies lady. Kids are taught to be ashamed or AKA indoctrination of the wrong idea of Christianity. Indoctrination doesn’t just mean you tell a kid about Christ, you can indoctrinate many things. Like fear of Muslims hatred of Jews or blacks and most accepted the hatred of Christians and their pesky values of loving one another. intolerance is what you’re asking for and to lie to children about our history.

    • Kiska Jolene Lucas

      Most of the forefathers of this country were deist rather than Christian and only loosely affiliated with the churches of the time. We have separation of Church and State no one need to be told how great Yeshua is in the classroom and then whitewash the reason for the inquisition or the literal murder of people for heresy.

      The word “God” does not appear in the Constitution and only does terms like ‘Creator’ which may or may not reflect upon Elohim as many of the founding fathers were Masons who ultimately believe in a Great Architect but do not name the entity as being one religion or another supreme being.

      Jefferson and others made it clear that the wall between Church and State was essential and even further solidified in the Treaty of Tripoli.

      Kids are welcome to pray on their own or in groups of their own choosing as long as it is not disruptive, coercive or used as a bullying tactic and not during instructional time. Teachers have the same rights. At no time should religioin be pushed upon any child and if religion be discussed inside the classroom be aware that all religions should be treated with the same respect as what this teacher is demanding.

      I was a Christian during my time at S.H.S. but I was also against the moment of prayer that was forced on me as well as the pledge of allegiance that was post 1957.

      Church and State do not mix..period.

      So, you want this teacher to preach his religion in history class, then I want to teach my history class including the works of LaVey, Crowley, Alexander, Valiente and Gardner in mine.. let me talk about the burning times, the inquisition, let me talk about the sufferings of the Greek, Roman, Celtic and Kemetic Gods, let me teach the rituals (i.e. meanings of the eucharist) of Pagans and see you praise my right to teach about religion in the classroom.