COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. — Collierville Schools confirmed it asked that a substitute teacher no longer is assigned to its schools after she showed a TED Talks video featuring nationally-known Pastor Rick Warren in class.
The incident happened April 26.
Mary Simms, who had been subbing for a 10th-grade English honors class at Collierville High School for nearly a month, said she was asked not to return on April 27.
“I felt deeply hurt and wronged,” said Simms.
She said the video wasn’t intended to convert anyone to Christianity and that Warren only briefly mentioned his religion.
Simms said her reason for showing the video was to contrast the hedonistic lifestyle promoted in a book by James Joyce, which she said was already listed on the curriculum.
“So the parallels were perfect,” said Simms.
Apparently, the school didn’t think so.
In a statement, Collierville Schools Chief of Staff Russell Dyer said, “a substitute, and former public school teacher, allegedly showed a video in the classroom that was religious in nature and which deviated from the lesson plan created by the teacher of record and violated the policies of the Collierville Schools.”
The school said it asked the subbing agency that employs Simms not to assign her to Collierville schools in the future.