In a word, no. No, the Cupertino, California school board is not forbidding teachers from teaching students about the Declaration of Independence because it contains references to God. Between bouts of tears over activist judges, the Alliance Defense Fund has filed a complaint on behalf of a teacher who has been accused of proselytizing (P. 36). Perhaps in response to the complaints about his behavior, the school's principal has required that the teacher submit all supplemental materials for review before they are distributed to the children. (P. 33)
The school is not discriminating against any religion. Other teachers are allowed to distribute supplemental materials that contain references to God and Christianity without prior approval. (P. 38-39). Teachers are allowed to instruct on the origins of religious holidays. (P. 45-46).
The big, and fraudluent, complaint from the right is that the school district has barred the teaching of the Declaration of Independence. In fact, the school district has merely barred one teacher from distributing one version of the Declaration, which he has edited down to three paragraphs emphasizing God. The full Declaration appears in the students' textbooks. The "supplement" is actually the opposite of what it proclaims to be. It is a redacted version of the original. (Ex. C.)
The supplemental information offered also includes material such as:
From Hannity and Colmes:
[W]e have gotten to the point where we don't even allow our kids to read real historical documents. ... Can we read in Cupertino? Can we read in Cupertino, to give our kids the Declaration of Independence anymore?
Is Declaration of Independence unconstitutional?
School district sued for censoring founding documents, state constitutions
From the Watchman Herald:
In a season typified by lawsuits against manger scenes, crosses and even the words "Merry Christmas," a California case is taking the "separation of church and state" one step further dealing with whether it's unconstitutional to read the Declaration of Independence in public school.
From World Net Daily:
The pundits are getting it all wrong. The left in America is not attacking "Christmas" this holiday season, they are attacking God. They do so without remorse and with exacting focus. ...
Cupertino, Calif., educators banning the Declaration of Independence.
From In the Fray:
But, out in John Kerry land, California, a school in Cupertino, California has banned a teacher from distributing the Declaration of Independence to his students. In its Week in Review, The New York Times cited Charles C. Haynes, a senior scholar at the Freedom Forums First Amendment Center, who said that conservatives were trying to use historical documents to back-door the introduction of religion into the curriculum. NO! Hes discovered our dark and evil secret ... were trying to teach kids about America by using (gasp!) American historical documents! Indeed, we have no shame.
From The Christian Post:
The case involving a Christian fifth-grade teacher who was barred by his Cupertino school from using the Declaration of Independence among other historical documents to teach in class is gaining nationwide attention.
A teacher in Cupertino, Calif., has been barred from using historical documents in his classroom that refer to God--including the writings of Founding Fathers such as William Penn and Samuel Adams. This class cannot even read the Declaration of Independence on school time.
From Power Line:
Shocking, if true. As a lawyer, however, I should note that most allegations asserted in pleadings are untrue. So news reports based on what someone has stated in a legal complaint should always be taken with a huge grain of salt. Still, the Trunk has been saying for a while that it is only a matter of time until the Constitution is held to be unconstitutional. The Declaration will presumably bite the dust first.