TAMPA, Florida, April 21, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The Christian religious liberty defense group Liberty Counsel sent a demand letter to the Hillsborough County Public Schools on Thursday to protest a lesbian activist teacher who allegedly banned some of her students from wearing Christian jewelry and turned her classroom into an intolerant, pro-LGBTQ propaganda zone.
Lora Jane Riedas, a math teacher at Riverview High School in Tampa, placed LGBT “rainbow” stickers on her students' notebooks and decorated her classroom with décor that “blatantly promotes a pro-LGBT agenda,” according to the letter from Liberty Counsel attorneys Richard Mast and Mary McAlister to Hillsborough County schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins.
Offended by the Cross
“I need you to take your necklace off,” Riedas allegedly said to one student wearing a cross necklace. The student, Liberty Counsel’s client, asked “Why?” Then Riedas refused to explain, stating “That’s disrespectful; you have to take it off,” according to the demand letter.
“Our client did not want to be disrespectful, so she took it off, but she felt bad because she felt she was being forced to deny her faith,” said the letter. “All of our clients are afraid to openly wear their cross necklaces in [Riedas’] class anymore.”
Riedas has prohibited at least three students from wearing Christian cross necklaces in her classroom, claiming they are “gang symbols,” according to the Liberty Counsel press release. One of the crosses, a tiny crucifix worn by Liberty Counsel's ninth grade client, is less than an inch long.
“Riedas demanded the student stop wearing her cross necklace and singled her out for several false ‘misbehavior’ allegations after the student removed the LGBT rainbow sticker from her class notebook,” LC states.
“School officials have no business in intentionally interfering with parent-approved religious jewelry, or in promoting their pet political ideologies during instructional time to a captive audience,” said the letter, threatening a federal lawsuit if “any further violations of students’ rights” occurs under Riedas.
According to Liberty Counsel, Riedas' lesbian partner, who is also a teacher at Riverview, “dressed as a nun for school spirit week, complete with a ‘cross necklace’ made of skulls. She tweeted she has ‘a bad habit’ and that the point was to be ‘creepy.’”
Apparently, the lesbian activist succeeded on the last point. She joins a long, militant “gay” history of homosexual activists mocking Catholic nuns and Christianity in general. The “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” is a perverse group of male homosexual drag queens who paint their faces white, pretending to be nuns, with many adopting salacious nicknames like “Father Fellatio” and “Sister Anal Receptive.” The pro-sadomasochistic “Sisters” have deviant “orders” in several major cities.
The Liberty Counsel letter states that, “On Friday, April 7, at 8:55 AM, Ms. Riedas retweeted ’favorite queer web series for kids’ from ‘huffpostqueer’ stating, ‘Here’s how to talk to kids about what it means to be an LGBTQ ally,’ again, apparently during school time.”
Riedas is part of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network's (GLSEN) Leadership Institute. GLSEN promotes the acceptance of homosexuality, bisexuality, and gender confusion (transgenderism) in K-12 schools nationwide and is the sponsor of today’s annual LGBTQ activist “Day of Silence” (DOS) in schools across America.
Conservatives say the DOS is all about using classrooms to promote one-sided, pro-LGBTQ propaganda to students and de-legitimize opposing points of view at the expense of providing quality, apolitical education.
According to Liberty Counsel, Riedas was promoting coercive Day of Silence political activities: “GLSEN's guide encourages teachers to require students ages K-12 to engage in numerous forms of coercive, group political activism, disregarding the parents' desires or the students' religious beliefs.”
“Students can either ‘go along to get along,’ or risk being ‘outed’ as disagreeing with the teacher and GLSEN's radical LGBT viewpoint,” Liberty Counsel states.
“The bullying behavior of Lora Jane Riedas is outrageous and unconstitutional,” said Liberty Counsel founder and chairman Mat Staver. “A teacher cannot ban students from wearing cross necklaces when other students are permitted to wear secular jewelry. Nor can teachers retaliate against students who refuse to display rainbow stickers on their books to promote an LGBT political agenda. The classroom is for learning, not promoting the LGBT agenda.”
Make the classroom safe for Christians again?
In a footnote, the Liberty Counsel demand letter states, “Our clients report another student was told to ‘get out of my class’ simply for wearing a red ‘Make America Great Again’ hat while working on an assignment, and otherwise being non-disruptive. [Riedas] had not told him previously to remove the hat, and the only thing she said about it was ‘get out of my class.’”
Liberty Counsel demanded the following of the Hillsborough County School District:
1) “Prohibit Ms. Riedas from interfering with student religious expression, by banning cross necklaces, or otherwise appropriate clothing or jewelry containing religious references or symbols;
2) “Prohibit Ms. Riedas from promoting LGBT political activism during instructional time on April 21, or at any other time, using any of the attached ideas in GLSEN’s “guide;”
3) “Require Ms. Riedas to remove partisan political LGBT materials from her classroom, and remove all unrequested LGBT stickers from each student’s notebook; and
4) “Replace her as sponsor of GSA [Gay Straight Alliance student club], and appoint a teacher of the District’s choice who can be trusted to be present at non-school-sponsored student clubs like GSA in a supervisory, not activist, capacity.”