Public School Tells Second Grader She Can’t Write About Jesus

A second grader at Cerro Gordo Elementary School in Columbus County, NC was given what seemed like a fairly straightforward assignment. The students in the second grade class were given asked to think about who they would consider their hero and then to write a paper explaining why they chose them.

Little 8-year-old Ryleigh Watts thought about it and decided that she would be writing her paper about Jesus Christ. When she informed her teacher of her decision, the response was reportedly not positive. Ryleigh’s mom says that the teacher asked Ryleigh to “write about something different.” Ryleigh’s mom, Heather Watts, was not pleased. “I think she should have freedom to write about what she wants to write about,” the disgruntled mother said. “If she wants to write about Jesus, she should write about Jesus.”

The school is denying that the incident actually took place.

Jesus“After speaking with both the teacher and the principal, we have learned that students were not restricted from writing on any topic of their choosing. Columbus County Schools encourages student expression in all aspects of our educational program. We also have an open-door policy, and encourage our parents and guardians to contact or visit their child’s school to address any concerns.”

If that is true, then one wonders why Ryleigh is still being asked not to write about Jesus.

Ryleigh and her mother, however, are not budging from their original story. Watts met with both the school’s principal and her daughter’s teacher and reports that the situation has not been rectified. The young girl, she confirmed, must still find a new hero for her report.

We can’t be completely sure about what happened at Cerro Gordo Elementary as the two sides seem to be telling very different stories, but if there is any truth to the family’s story – the school should have to answer for their bigotry.

Our public schools have become a breeding ground for the erosion of our rights, and situations like this one are becoming all too common. If our public schools are going to continue to attack our freedoms, then we must actively fight against them, and the most effective tool in that fight may very well be withdrawing our children from their halls. Whatever we do, we need to act quickly or future generations may be lost.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

About the author

Onan Coca

Onan is the Editor-in-Chief at Romulus Marketing and Bravera Holdings. He's also the managing editor at,, and the managing partner at You can read more of his writing at Eagle Rising.
Onan is a graduate of Liberty University (2003) and earned his M.Ed. at Western Governors University in 2012. Onan lives in Atlanta with his wife and their five wonderful children.

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