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Apex teacher reassigned after Facebook comments

Posted April 8, 2010

Wake County Public School System
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— An Apex teacher who was suspended after complaining on her Facebook page that Christian students subjected her to a "hate crime" has been moved out of the classroom.

Melissa Hussain was reassigned last month to coordinate middle-school science instruction for the Wake County school system, district spokesman Greg Thomas said Thursday.

Hussain was suspended for five days in February from her previous job as an eighth-grade teacher at West Lake Middle School while district officials investigated a complaint against her.

A parent said concern started as the class was learning about evolution and some students challenged the teacher on Christian beliefs. Following the evolution discussion, Hussain wrote on her Facebook page that a student left a Bible on her desk with a card that read Merry Christmas with “Christ” underlined, the parent told WRAL News.

Hussain wrote that the gesture was cruel and called it a “hate crime,” the parent said.

The suspension was under a district policy that calls for the highest standards of honesty, integrity and fairness from employees.


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  • mad_dash Apr 13, 2010

    They are children, she is an adult. She should have used this opportunity to teach the children about respecting others opinions.

  • mad_dash Apr 13, 2010

    iamsiam1096.. you said it perfect!

  • unaffiliated_voter Apr 9, 2010

    (continued) - 1000 characters is not enough!

    Regarding people moving here so they could practice their religion, I agree. That's a good thing and I'm more than happy to have people practice their religion here.

    The people I was suggesting go somewhere else are the ones that want to impose their own religion on everyone else and think the government should help them do that. That's what I consider to be contrary to the principles set forth by the founders and a direct threat to the long-term good of the country.

  • unaffiliated_voter Apr 9, 2010

    westoflyra: You've misinterpreted my comments. I support freedom of religion. But that means freedom to believe in ANY religion - or none at all. My objection to many of the comments here is that they imply that Christianity is the ONLY acceptable religion and that all non-Christians are evil. That is not freedom of religion.

    I also believe that it's imperative for this country to teach our children the most accurate, up-to-date information we can. Other countries are doing it and if we don't, we eventually will no longer be the top dog.

    Also, I did not say that the Bible says the earth is flat. I said that it was written by people in a time where everyone (or nearly everyone) believed it was. We now know that they were wrong about that. My point was that the people then were speculating about things based on what they knew. Some of their theories were accurate. Some were not. Therefore, believing that every word in the Bible is 100% undeniably true seems foolish to me.

  • westoflyra Apr 9, 2010

    Unaffiliated voter,

    People did move to a country where they could practice their beliefs. It's now called the United States of America. And in a country where freedom of religion is included in its Constitution, I would expect a better argument from you. Instead you show your own lack of knowledge of Biblical principles regarding the shape of the earth - it's not mentioned. And nothing about evolution in any way negates the existence of God or the fact He created it.

    Separation of Church and State to many people, including yourself, only hides your unwillingness to have an open mind.

    Indeed, the Bible is mightier than a two-edged sword when an adult educator so easily falls by the wayside by an opposing viewpoint presented by mere children.

  • mramorak Apr 8, 2010

    right on tax man!!!!!!!!

  • unaffiliated_voter Apr 8, 2010

    westoflyra said "I think students with religious beliefs should be exempt from going to class if something is going to be taught they feel runs counter to their religious beliefs."

    If this country is going to remain the leading country in the world, every child needs to learn real world facts and skills that are as accurate and unbiased as possible. Look at the countries around the world that put religion ahead of reality. Not exactly your leading countries are they? If people want to live in a place like that, move to one, but the USA got to be the leading country because of the separation of church and state and the ability for people to make new discoveries and abandon old incorrect ideas. If we're going to teach our kids to rigorously and literally believe every word written by people that believed the earth was flat and the sun revolved around it, we won't be the leading country much longer.

  • etshoney Apr 8, 2010

    OOPS, forgot to mention that the CHILDREN involved should have been coached in proper MANNERS and RESPECT for their elders. Go home tell Mom & Dad and let them handle it. The student's behavior was more than the bible thing but suffice to say they behaved very badly and deserved a talking to. She is till their TEACHER and like it or not shut up and listen! Try treating a boss you disagree with like they did this teacher and you would be permanently unemployed!

  • unaffiliated_voter Apr 8, 2010

    This whole thing would be a great example for discussion in a class about human interaction. I don't think that anyone mentioned in the story acted reasonably (unless the parent that was a source merely related the story and wasn't involved).

    The student should not have left a Bible on the teacher's desk. That's just rude and no one should be evangelizing in a public school science class.

    The teacher seems hypersensitive. Yes, it was rude, but a hate crime? Doesn't something have to be a crime in order to be a hate crime? I'm pretty sure that giving someone a book, any book, is not a crime.

    Whoever reported what she wrote on her Facebook page is a busybody that should mind their own business. She was expressing a personal feeling to her friends. Even if it seems unreasonable, she should be allowed to do that.

    The school system is ridiculous for calling that "lack of integrity". I think she overreacted, but if that's what she felt, how is that lack of integrity?

  • etshoney Apr 8, 2010

    This situation escalated because the school administration ignored the parents concerns and refused to meet to discuss the matter. West Lake Middle has students showing up in GANG colors and related clothing and the administration's response is "We need to EMBRACE cultural differences"!!!!! I'm sure more $$$ will diminish that problem!!!!! The problem could have been taken care of if they coached the young teacher and spoke to the parents assuring them the situation had been address. NO TEACHER SHOULD EVER MAKE COMMENTS ABOUT STUDENTS AND PARENTS ON A "PUBLIC" WEB SITE. Hopefully this a lesson learned for everyone involved!