While the ACLU has defended students' religious beliefs in Wicca and other minority religions, the Oklahoma lawsuit is believed to be the first in the country involving accusations of 'actual' witchcraft.
From PZ Myers, at Pharyngula (an avid atheist)
Going back to our Puritan roots
Category: ReligionIt's the 21st Century everywhere except Okiedom. There it's still 1700. I Spent 30 Long Years In Oklahoma, from 1994 til 2000. In Oklahoma, I encountered a more deeply-seated, tightly-held, ferocious resentment of 'intelligence' and 'education' than I ever thought possible. "Xenophobic, mean-spirited, narrow-minded, anti-intellectual assholes" really doesn't touch it...Think "Sundown Towns."
Posted on: January 30, 2009 7:36 AM, by PZ Myers
The ACLU is suing Union Public School Independent District No. 9 of Oklahoma. The reason is bizarre: administrators at the school have harrassed and violated the civil rights of a young woman named Brandi Blackbear because — and I'm a bit ashamed to admit this can go on in my country — they accused her of witchcraft. They say she used a magic spell to make one of her teachers sick. In retaliation, she has been subjected to searches and public humiliation, and the school has banned the wearing of non-Christian paraphernalia.
I'm pretty sure this is the 21st century, not the 17th. You would have a tough time noticing it if you relied on religious attitudes to tell.
The article mentions that they'd like to see the school show some evidence that Blackbear actually hexed anyone. This is not a good idea. From their track record so far, the Oklahoma school administrators might think the appropriate way to do that is to call in a witchfinder and throw Blackbear into a pond, or search her for witchmarks with a large needle. And if those don't work, there are always thumbscrews and the rack. They'll get a confession eventually.