California charter school removes Christian books from library

River Springs Charter School
Springs Charter Schools, aka River Springs Charter School, is a charter school in the city of Temecula, Riverside County, southern California.
On its “About Us: Vision & Mission” page, Springs Charter Schools describes itself as “created and is operated by parents” and that “We value Parent choice and involvement, Using the community as the classroom, Fostering a child’s innate creativity, Collaborating to achieve goals, Building relationships, and Personalizing learning.”
What the page leaves out is that Springs Charter Schools also values CENSORSHIP and ANTI-CHRISTIANITY.
Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), a conservative legal defense organization in California, is sounding the alert that Springs Charter Schools is violating the First Amendment by removing library books based on their perceived Christian content.
In an email, PJI states:

A parent of students enrolled at Springs Charter Schools was recently shocked to see some of the books being targeted for removal, including the well-known account of Holocaust survivor Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place.  The parent contacted PJI after library personnel explained to her that they had been directed to remove Christian books, books by Christian authors, and books from Christian publishers.

PJI attorney Michael Peffer sent the school a cease-and-desist letter on August 22, citing long-established Supreme Court precedent that strongly disapproves of school libraries removing books based on opposition to their content or message.   
Last week, the Superintendent of Springs Charter Schools, Dr. Kathleen Hermsmeyer, ignored the precedent in PJI’s letter and instead insisted, “We . . . do not allow sectarian materials on our state-authorized lending shelves.”
PJI President Brad Dacus commented, “It is alarming that a school library would attempt to purge books from religious authors.  Indeed, some of the greatest literature of Western Civilization comes from people of faith.  Are they going to ban the sermons or speeches of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?  What about the Declaration of Independence that invokes the laws of nature and nature’s God?  We are calling on Springs Charter Schools to immediately reverse their ill-conceived and illegal book-banning policy.”  
PJI responded to the school this week by sending a public records request and is prepared to take further legal action if the school continues to ignore its constitutional obligations.  

To contact the Pacific Justice Institute:

Brad Dacus (916) 857-6900

Scrolling through the Springs Charter Schools’ very long list of “Administration Contacts(Bloated Bureaucracy Alert!), I can’t find any contact info for its superintendent.
As if that could end my search. [smirk]
From the California Department of Education website:

Kathleen M. Hermsmeyer
Ph: (951) 252-8800 ext. 891

Kathleen Hermsmeyer, 47

Kathleen Hermsmeyer, 47

I also saw this on Springs Charter Schools’ very long list of “Administration Contacts“:

Enchanted Learning – Amber Zielinski (951) 252-8841

“Enchanted Learning”? I dread to ask what that is.
H/t FOTM’s MomofIV

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0 responses to “California charter school removes Christian books from library

  1. Her email is down now.

  2. what is it going to take for Christians to stand up, united and proclaim, we have had enough? How much longer will they allow this type of persecution? A few thousand atheists and gays have wrecked havoc on our society. For God’s sake, grow some balls and do something. There’s millions of us, right!
    Let’s take our country back from those who seek to pervert it and our way of life.

  3. Ah, being an “educator” means being a progress left/liberal blockhead… that “fundamental tranformation” the Left wants.

  4. Why not just pile them on the front lawn of the school and burn them?! Ha! They think they can make Christianity go away; as if removing some books will make Jesus go away. “Where can I go from your Spirit?”

  5. Pingback: California charter school removes Christian books from library -

  6. last year my daughter stood up to a militant sodomite government school instructor and got penalized for it. The only course subject she was not placed into AP. Amerika, sigh.

    • “last year my daughter stood up to a militant sodomite government school instructor and got penalized for it.” Par for the course in public indoctrination. If students or parents question the teachers, the student will be penalized further. And you better know what subject to write about in a class, one (with a liberal slant) that will get you an A.

    • Please congratulate your Daughter on standing by her principles, she’s more of a Woman than any feminist is.
      This is part of why I don’t “enroll” in further education such as community colleges et al. they all have a “non-discrimination” and “hate speech” policy that automatically requires me to not speak against that which I know is vile, ergo I cannot attend without breaking those policies (I have a tendency to speak openly about things if asked, and the first second someone felt “offended” I’d be turfed.) Not like their worthless little slip of government approval is even worth tuition in the first place, though. This is why bookstores are better, at least used ones (new ones may not be so good given the amount of propaganda churned out therein.)
      Also Thanks immensely for teaching your daughter right from wrong, we see so little of that these days. (Here’s hoping that she will be able to find a man who is just as principled.)

  7. One question that would interest me . . . are copies of the Qua-ran allowed in this school?

  8. the christian books need to stay in the school library! the real doctor says they should stay!

  9. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this fascinating post. The Nazis burned important books written by Greek philosophers and Christian philosophers and theologians. Apparently, these people are doing the same thing. They are idiots with degrees. As for “Kathleen,” I recommend that she go to a salon and get her eyebrows waxed-they need help. I know that I go and get this done so that I won’t be the missing link in the evolutionary train. But at least I won’t be known as a book burner.

  10. I am a Christian who supports fighting censorship. Unfortunately, this is not a case of censorship. Let me explain by a question. Would you be able to walk into a traditional public school classroom and demand the teacher use a Christian math text to teach math? No, you would not. This is what this case is about. I am a former employee and homeschool parent of River Springs Charter School. River Springs Charter School is a public charter school which supports homeschool families. The problem here is the term “library” is confusing people. This is not a library in the traditional brick and mortar sense of a on site public school library. This is actually a resource center which carries public school curriculum which parents can borrow. As such it cannot stock specifically Christian materials to be used by the parents to implement what is a public school education. I wish the Pacific Justice Institute had bothered to check its facts before producing what is an accusation without merit.

    • “Would you be able to walk into a traditional public school classroom and demand the teacher use a Christian math text to teach math?”
      Who’s “demanding” that teachers at River Springs Charter School “use a Christian math text to teach math”? Are there even “Christian math” texts? Math is Math, as in 2+2=4. I didn’t know there’s Christian math.
      “This is not a library in the traditional brick and mortar sense of a on site public school library. This is actually a resource center which carries public school curriculum which parents can borrow.”
      You mean there is no place in the library resource center’s “public school curriculum” for, say, devout Catholic J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings trilogy, or devout Protestant C.S. Lewis’ Narnia chronicles? Does the resource center have a copy of the Quran? What about books by atheist Richard Dawkins?

      • Let me clarify. I would not be able to demand a public school use Bob Jones or Abeka math curriculum at a traditional public school. I have a feeling you recognize in essence that is what I was describing, but once again there is a mocking tone to the discussion rather than a dialog of facts. Also, the books you cite are considered Classics in terms of Western Culture. Therefore, they would not be banned. On the other hand, the school cannot stock textbooks and curriculum which is produced by Christian textbook/curriculum publishers. This fact is set out in the student handbook which the parent who is pursuing the suit should have read. What is ironic about this complaint is much of the school’s administration is Christian. They are doing their best to provide parental choice, but are getting hammered because they have to abide by state criteria in that curriculum offered and paid for by the school must be non-sectarian. Again, this is not a “library.” It is a resource center to house public school curriculum, not necessarily recreational reading material, to be used by the parent to implement a public school education.

        • Peggy,
          I’m utterly baffled why you imagine my comment to you to have not only a “mocking tone” but a “once again” mocking tone. I asked questions so that I can better understand your original comment, among which there are 4 you have chosen not to answer:
          1. Who’s “demanding” that teachers at River Springs Charter School “use a Christian math text to teach math”?
          2. Are there even “Christian math” texts?
          Math is Math, as in 2+2=4. Or do you mean by “Christian math” textbooks on math published by Christian publishers? If the content of those textbooks is straightforward Math, why are they excluded from the charter school’s resource center?
          3. Does the resource center have a copy of the Quran?
          4. What about books by atheist Richard Dawkins?
          — atheism being as much of a religion as overt religions.
          Lastly, I have a new non-mocking question for you because I’m struggling to understand your comments:
          Are you saying the prohibition against textbooks published by Christian publishers is one that’s imposed on River Springs Charter School by the California state government?
          If so, then every school in California must also exclude Christian publisher’s textbooks from their curriculum. If so, why did River Spring Charter School alone make the news?
          Thank you.

          • Also, Peggy, please be so kind as to cite the particular California state law or regulation prohibiting public schools from including textbooks published by Christian publishers in their curriculum.

          • First, I used the comments about walking into a public school and demanding something of a Christian nature to make a point. That point is a public school is a non-sectarian entity. It cannot purchase Christian curriculum to be used in a public school environment. I already clarified my comments about “Christian Math.” I clarified I meant curriculum created by a Christian publisher. I cannot say for sure whether or not the resource room has a copy of the Quran or a book by Richard Dawkins. I have my doubts, but I do not have a specific list of everything housed on the resource center shelves. What I do know as a former employee is what is allowed and not allowed based on what it is in the school handbook.
            Second, In regard to your questioning about if what River Springs offers is stipulated by the state, YES, the state does make stipulations about what charter schools like River Springs can and cannot purchase for student use. Let me see if I can explain this without the explanation being too long winded. Students enrolled in River Springs Charter School’s homeschool program are allotted what are called Flex Funds. These are used by the parent to purchase textbooks, educational supplies, and even lessons from approved vendors. For example, one year my daughter was able to take horse back riding lessons using the Flex Funds to pay a vendor who provided horse back riding lessons. This was allowed because my daughter was using the lessons to fulfill content for two high school courses, PE and an Equine Science course. The state has some strict stipulations as to what parents can or cannot purchase with these Flex Funds. For example, another one of my children was taking a high school biology course. We used Flex Funds to purchase a biology textbook. Once we were done with the book, it was returned to the school. These are the types of materials which are housed in the resource center. What is housed in the resource center can be checked out by parents for free thus saving parents from using the Flex Funds. It is the school’s way of saving the parents money by trying to recycle what parents have previously purchased to use for their children’s education. I could not have asked the school to purchase a Bob Jones Biology text because that is produced by a Christian publisher. That is not a River Springs decision. That is a CA limitation on what can be purchased. Sorry to be long-winded, but folks need to understand River Springs Charter School’s homeschool program does not function like a typical brick and mortar school. It does try to offer parental choice but within the confines of what the state and to a lesser degree its chartering entity, in this case the Riverside County Office of Education, will allow.

            • Thank you for answering some of my questions. Assuming everything is as you had explained — and I’m not doubting your words — then all this can and should be explained to the Pacific Justice Institute, after which I have no doubt the lawsuit will be retracted. PJI should then sue the California state government!

              • Thank you, Dr. Eowyn for understanding the convoluted nature of this situation. The fact is CA is somewhat arbitrary on what it will and won’t allow. For example, in your question about the Quran, the state may or may not allow its use depending on how it is used. In sixth grade, the state required course for that school year is World History (Pre-History through the Fall of the Roman Empire). As such religion is included to the degree the students are discussing the development of the Hebrew nation and the development of Islam. Therefore, a student may be exposed to both the Bible and Quran if they are used as sources for the study of religion within the context of history. If a study moves beyond the Bible as history or the Bible as literature then the Bible as a source becomes problematic. Does that make sense?
                I am not a cheerleader for River Springs. No school is perfect, but I spent four years working for the school and the better part of nine years as a parent of students enrolled in the school. I used my own Christian curriculum at home to supplement my children’s education, but I always recognized my children were enrolled in a CA public school. Therefore, I knew there were parameters on what I could do as an employee of a public school as well as what the school could offer my family utilizing the services of a public school.
                Thank you for the conversation.

  11. Additionally, one more thing. There was a comment about Enchanted Learning and a joke about fearing what that site may entail. Enchanted Learning is a site with a collection of worksheets for students preschool through elementary age. When I was homeschooling my children and needed to supplement with a worksheet or wanted something more creative, I would access this site to print out worksheets. Is it too much too ask that before something is attacked or mocked, at least an effort is made to gather facts?

    • Gosh, you sure have your heckles all ready to be raised. So bloggers can’t express their opinion about ANYTHING? Your description of “Enchanted Learning” sheds no light on why that label is used. I still think the label “Enchanted Learning” is redolent of New Age woo-woo and downright asinine.
      There. Now you can get all aggrieved once again by my “once again mocking tone.” Woot, woot!

  12. Captain Whitehead

    Their schools are terrible anyway…….


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