An elementary school student who claimed last year that his first-grade teacher told him that "Jesus is not allowed in school" before removing a religious story he affixed to candy canes he intended to give out to peers is going to court to try and stop something similar from happening this holiday season.
Isaiah Martinez and his father Alex (Advocates for Faith and Freedom)
Isaiah Martinez, 7, and his family are requesting a preliminary injunction in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to prevent the West Covina Unified School District — and, more specifically, Merced Elementary School in West Covina — from stopping his candy cane distribution.
As TheBlaze previously reported, the battle began last year on Dec. 13, 2013, when Martinez reportedly brought the gifts into the classroom for his peers.
These holiday treats "consisted of a traditional candy cane with a message attached that recited the legend of the candy cane," according to Advocates for Faith and Freedom, a conservative legal group representing the child and his family.
The problem from the school's perspective was the fact that the story affixed to the candy canes focused on a candy maker who, legend says, created the red and white treat in an effort to memorialize Jesus' life — a supposed historical account that some dispute.
According to the legal group, when Martinez presented the gifts, he was met with major resistance from his teacher, who reportedly removed the Christian stories affixed to the candy canes and threw them in the trash.
“After conferring with the school principal, the teacher told Isaiah that ‘Jesus is not allowed in school’ and, at the apparent direction of her principal, ripped the candy cane message from each candy cane, threw the messages in the trash, and handed the candy canes back to Isaiah for delivery to his classmates,” a press release claimed. “Isaiah then nervously handed the candy canes to his classmates in fear that he was in trouble for trying to bring a little Christmas cheer and ‘good tidings’ to class.”
The Martinez family fought back, taking the case the federal court and claiming that Isiah's free speech rights were trampled. According to Advocates for Faith and Freedom, all options have been exhausted in terms of trying to get the school to change its mind on the matter, leading to the current court battle.
"The school has neglected to correct its actions, and after exhausting all options to avoid a lawsuit we were left with no choice but to file a complaint in federal court," attorney Robert Tyler said in a press release. "We are asking the court to protect Isaiah’s rights and the rights of others like him from having their religious speech censored."
(H/T: Christian Post)