by Patrick Devlin

Rio Rancho, NM high school teacher Katrina Guarascio received the gift of unemployment this holiday season from one of her students who became offended after a peer turned in a creative writing assignment that led to Guarascio being turned in to school officials.

Guarascio asked her students to rework a mythical tale to take place in modern times. One of the creative writers took on the myth of Christ producing hundreds of fishes and loaves out of his cassock to feed a ‘multitude’ who gathered to hear one of the Fidel-Castro-length lectures the first century homeless preacher is famous for. The young writer brought the tale of miraculous compassion and care for our brethren up to modern-times by changing the hungry crowd into sick patients and the filet of fish sammies into bubba kush cannabis.

Guarascio has said that, at the time, she herself was not troubled by the student’s choice of myth and creative re-working. “It’s not written for me. It’s written for them. It’s how they can express themselves,” Guarascio told the local press.

One of her students, perhaps inspired by the parable of the ‘Sacred Censor’, was upset by the act of creative self-expression and reported the apostate teacher to her mother, resulting in a school district investigation of the teaching heretic, who was put on administrative leave.

Guarascio, who said she felt targeted and harassed, resigned from her teaching position this week. A spokesperson for the school district said that the teacher was not forced to resign, although she had been on their watch list and was understood to be a subversive who had used profanity and sexually explicit language in her classroom as she taught teenagers about creative writing. The district investigators said that Guarascio was given the opportunity to change her instructional practices but had failed to self-censor. Guarascio contends rather that the Christian Soldier student had “actually boasted to her classmates about how she was “going to get her teacher fired.”

The jobless teacher said that she loved teaching her students “I’m not there to judge them. I’m there to encourage them.” Guarascio’s parting advice to her students; “If (you) have something to say, say it, not everyone’s going to agree with you. But that doesn’t make your point invalid or worthless. Tell your story.”

Real grown-up Christian Soldiers figured how to fashion their own version of censorship at a town commissioner’s meeting recently in Lake Worth, FL. As every town meeting begins in Lake Worth, a citizen, Preston Smith who is an atheist, walked the podium to present an invocation. As Smith approached, Mayor Pam Triolo and three commissioners, Scott Maxwell, Andy Amoroso and John Szerdi, left the meeting room.

Triolo told reporters that she did not leave the public government meeting because Smith is an avowed atheist, but because she viewed a tweet that Smith sent months ago to be an offensive interpretation of scripture. The mayor noted her Christ-like justification, “Free speech works both ways. You can say what you want and I can choose to leave.”

Lake Worth’s last remaining invocation receiving committee member, Commissioner Christopher McVoy, told local station WPTV later that he thought the mass walk-out shout-down was “very un-American, and a slap in the face to the principles people fought very hard to make sure we had.”

Smith, having apparently absorbed on his own the message teacher Guarascio had imparted to her junior creative writers, began his invocation by reminding the vacated committee room that “our collective atheism, which is to say, loving empathy, scientific evidence and critical thinking leads us to believe we can create a better more equal community without religious divisions,” and closed by suggesting, “Let us all love one another not based on intrisic rewards now, hereafter or based on superstitious threats of eternal damnation, but rather secular-based principles of morality and doing good for goodness’ sake. And so we pray…so what?”