A seventh-grade student in Katy, Texas is being praised for boldly defending her faith after her reading teacher instructed her class that God is a "myth" and that any student who says God is a "fact" or an "opinion" is wrong.
USA Today reports that on Monday, Jordan Wooley, a straight-A student at the West Memorial Junior High School, and her classmates were told by their reading teacher that God is not real and that answers to the contrary would result in a poor grade.
"We were asked to take a poll to say whether God is fact, opinion or a myth, and she (the teacher) told anyone who said God was a fact or an opinion that they were wrong and that God is only a myth" she said.
"She started telling kids that they were completely wrong and when kids would argue she would tell them that they would get in trouble," Jordan continued, explaining that other children in her class were upset as well. "Whenever we asked why were led to believe that [God] was true when He isn't, she told us to ask our pastors."
Jordan's mother, Chantel Wooley, said the test - which did not come from a standard workbook - accounts for about 40 percent of her daughter's grade in the reading class. Despite risking her grade, Jordan refused to renounce her faith in God.
"I love reading so for me personally to have to fail reading because of what my beliefs are just shocked me," Jordan said.
According to a report from Covering Katy, Jordan's teacher taught several other classes that day, all of which included the same instructions about God.
At the school board meeting that night, Jordan spoke during the public comments portion and said, "Another child had asked the teacher if we could try to put what we believe on the paper, and she [the teacher] said, 'You can if you want to get it wrong. You'll fail the paper if you do.'"
"It appears the teacher was not following Katy ISD's curriculum, because Memorial Junior High students who have a different reading teacher said God was never mentioned in their class, according to Wooley," says the report.
Superintendent Alton Frailey responded to Jordan, "I'm truly sorry that you feel that your faith was questioned."
"What's going on is that the principal was made aware of this today and is going to have a chance to work on that as per district policies and procedures," he added. "We definitely will look into that. Thank you very much. It was very brave of you. Thank you, honey. Good job."
Speaking to Covering Katy, Chantel said she could understand if the assignment was given to college students: "Are we talking about impressionable 12- or 13-year-olds or are we talking about 24-year-olds in college who already have a firm grasp of the world around them?" she asked. "It makes me sick," she added.
In a Facebook post on Thursday, the Rev. Franklin Graham praised Jordan for her bravery: "That takes guts!" he wrote. "I'm thankful for young people like this who will speak up for their belief in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. That's a lesson all of us can learn from!"