CATHOLICS CAN’T GO TO HEAVEN
Catalyst October Issue 1998
Imagine what you would do if you learned that your child, or grandchild, came home from school one day and told you that he was taught that he couldn’t get into heaven because he was a Catholic. This is exactly what Wayne and Debra Anderson were told when their daughter, Jenny, came home from class at Eagle Nest Elementary School in Eagle Nest, New Mexico. That’s why they sued the school.
The incident occurred at the end of the school year last spring. Third grade teacher Devonna Todd told her class, “Christians go to heaven.” It is alleged that she then said that Catholics would not. According to court papers, Todd is also accused of saying that “the devil was in the classroom, in the drawers, in the desks and in the children themselves.” The students were told not to tell their parents about any of this. But Jenny did.
The Anderson’s, who have since moved out of the school district, are suing claiming that their daughter was traumatized by the experience and that her civil rights were violated. The teacher was suspended from the school and is now in court arguing that she was “wrongfully terminated.”
We hope you keep the Anderson’s in your prayers. Their daughter has suffered nightmares about the devil and doesn’t want to be alone at night; she was also ostracized by other students. In addition, her parents were initially told by a callous principal to try homeschooling or switch to another district. They sold their house at considerable loss and are now trying to put their lives back together. We trust they will win in court.