Shalom Life | August 24, 2015

Parent Uses Decades-Old Religious Symbols Law to Complain About Teacher Wearing Star of David Pendant

The Orthodox Christian parent has been known to incite controversy

By: Daniel Koren

Published: November 21st, 2014 in News » World

Parent Uses Decades-Old Religious Symbols Law to Complain About Teacher Wearing Star of David Pendant

Ernest Perce is currently an Orthodox Christian, but he wasn't always so.

In fact, Perce is formerly an atheist who made many the headline as a non-practicing nonbeliever, posting a billboard that seemed to glorify slavery, and dressing up as a zombie Muhammad during a 2011 Halloween parade. Consequently, a Muslim man attacked him during that particular parade.

Now, Perce has realized the former error of his ways, but hasn't quite settled his controversial, or offensive, nature. As a parent of a student attending East Pennsboro Middle School in Enola, Pennsylvania, he's filed a complaint with the city's school district over one of his student's teachers, simply because the teacher wears a Star of David necklace to school.

“They are there to learn about education, not to learn about religious points of view,” Perce said to WHTM-TV. ”If a child is subjected to a teacher where a symbol of Judaism is allowed to skirt the law, I believe that a Muslim should be allowed to cover her head as well as a Christian to cover her head like the Bible commands.”

Apparently, Perce has used a decades-old law (65 years to be exact) as the foundation for his complaint. According to a state law passed in 1949, teachers were not able to display religious symbols in the classroom.

The law states that “That no teacher in any public school shall wear in said school or while engaged in the performance of his duty as such teacher any dress, mark, emblem or insignia indicating the fact that such teacher is a member or adherent of any religious order, sect or denomination.”

For those teachers that violate this law, they will be “suspended from employment … for the term of one year.”

However, Pennsylvania courts have deemed that the teacher in question can wear the Star of David as he/she pleases, citing a previous ruling that allowed a teacher to wear a cross.

Good to know not everyone in Enola is taking these prehistoric laws so seriously.

In the meanwhile, Perce has reportedly removed his child from the classroom. I wonder how open-minded towards other religions that kid will grow up to be.

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