Gutsy High School Student Exposes Teacher Who Compared Atheism to Smoking - Wins Scholarship

Sarah Sheppard, a student from Katy, Texas was awarded a scholarship for her efforts in standing up to her high school teacher who was preaching Christianity to his students during economics classes, Raw Story reported.

According to Sheppard, the teacher explained how atheism was against human nature stating, “the mind rejects the concept of atheism” just like the body rejects smoking.

In a speech delivered at the Humanists of Houston meeting in Texas, Sheppard explained how she recorded her teacher on her cell phone after he began to talk about religion inappropriately and then sent the recording to the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF).

FFRF consequently contacted the Katy school district and thanked the 19-year-old for reporting the incident.  In the following semester, the high school teacher told students in the same class that Sheppard had taken away his right to talk about Jesus.

Subsequently, Sheppard wrote about her experience for the Freedom From Religion Foundation Scholarship Essay contest and won 4th place and $500 last month.  However, not everyone has been so supportive of the proud, atheist's actions:

“I had a few friends in the same class that were angry with me and said I destroyed his freedom to religion, but in reality his actions were unconstitutional and were not related to economics at all…This was economics class, not Sunday school", she said.

"From this event I learned that even though I grew up with a shy personality I can still have a passionate and assertive voice that fights for what is constitutional,” she wrote in her essay.

Read more at Raw Story

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.