According to a letter sent to the EAA by the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, a teacher called the ACLU last week to alert them to this job posting.
|Excerpt from the EAA preschool teacher job posting. Found online at http://michigan.gov/documents/eaa/Preschool_Teachers_441799_7.pdf on 2/25/2014.|
What's more, because the EAA is the vehicle for the state-run State School Reform/Redesign District, the job posting is actually hosted on the State of Michigan's web site, michigan.gov. [Find other documents from the EAA at michigan.gov/eaa.]
In the letter to Chancellor John Covington, the head of the EAA, from Legal Director Michael J. Steinberg, the ACLU notes that:
There is no principle more fundamental to American public education than the requirement that schools be welcoming of all students and teachers regardless of religious or racial background. Our Constitution wisely requires schools to remain neutral in matters of religion. . .
I hope that you will respond to this letter by explaining that the use of the "Christian setting" language was somehow a mistake and that you will change the job description right away. Even if it was a mistake, however, we are distressed by how many EAA administrators and staff must have read the job announcement without thinking it was wrong or demanding that it be changed. Moreover, we wonder how many excellent teachers who are Muslim, Jewish or not religious read the job description and decided not to apply because they believed they were not wanted. Indeed, how many top notch teachers who are Christian decided not to apply because they thought it was improper to teach public school students in a religious environment?Read the entire letter, including Exhibit A (a .pdf of the job description) here.