Hoax Update: Reports of a Teacher Being Fired In Oklahoma for Praying Prior to Tornado Are False

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Updated: After further investigation  The Daily Sheeple has determined that, in all likelihood, the following report is a hoax with no factual evidence to support it.

We have reviewed school records for the Briarwood Elementary School in Oklahoma City, OK, and were unable to locate a staff member by the name of Paulina Trumble.

The ACLU is unable to confirm that any law suit is pending.

A post put up on the Moore Public Schools facebook page reads:

Moore Public Schools wishes to confirm that NO teacher was fired from MPS for praying for the safety of their classes and students during the tornado.

Moore Public Schools is saddened that this type of rumor has even been circulated.

Please help us dispel this FALSE rumor as many MPS employees, teachers and administrators were praying before and during the tornado strikes, and will continue to do so throughout the recovery process for both our district and our community.

Thank you.

No additional reports, save the original story linked below, have made reference to this specific incident, though a report from the Blaze indicates that a teacher by the name of Rhonda Crosswhite of the Plaza Tower Elementary School in Moore, OK did admit to praying with her sixth grade students as the tornado approached:

I did the teacher thing that we’re probably not supposed to do. I prayed — and I prayed out loud,” she said in an interview with NBC News following the violent storm.

Considering her situation at the time of the invocation, it’s understandable why Crosswhite risked facing criticism and potential claims that she violated the separation of church and state. Her life — and the lives of the children she was protecting — hung in the balance.

As the violent storm raged, the teacher found herself in a bathroom stall with six children. With the kids crying and appealing to her for protection, she openly addressed the Lord, saying, “God please don’t take these kids today.”

Our original report is preserved below for interested readers.


Original Report
Sunday, May 25, 2013 @ 15:30 CT
“Report: Teacher Fired For Praying In Classroom as Oklahoma F5 Tornado Approached”

It is not yet clear if the following report is accurate, or a hoax. We’ve chosen to publish portions of the report for the benefit of interested readers.

As reported by The Palookaville Post :::

Friday a teacher working at an Oklahoma school hit hard by a devastating tornado this week was fired after admitting she had prayed out loud during the horrific event, and that a complaint was filed by an atheist family of a kindergarten student who was offended by the Christian prayer.

Paulina Trumble, 52, a twenty three year veteran educator at Briarwood Elementary School in Moore, Oklahoma knew she was in trouble the moment the cyclone passed after realizing she had uttered out loud a prayer to the Almighty, violating  strict separation of church and state laws.

“In a moment when I believed we were all going to die I naturally sought comfort from the only place I knew,” said Trumble.

“I know prayer is strictly forbidden in classrooms, and the students know that too, but I’m only human and in the face of such terror I did break the rules. I’m sorry if I offended anyone or violated their civil rights.”

The family, who’s name is being kept anonymous for their own protection, filed the complaint with the school through an ACLU attorney even though the teacher was responsible for saving the life of their six year old child.

“Saving the life of my client’s child was Ms. Trumble’s responsibility and is to be expected,” said ACLU attorney Donald Ambulachasky. “Unfortunately, it is also a teacher’s responsibility to keep God out of the classroom and on that count Ms. Trumble failed miserably. It doesn’t matter the circumstances…. the law is the law, and someone must pay.”

School officials could not be reached for comment because the school was destroyed and they have no available telephones or computers to receive or return a message.

Via The Palookaville Post
(Cached version also available)

If the report is true, then this is an outrageous new low for the American system of justice and the idea of separation of church and state.

Likewise, if this is a false report, then the reporters involved are exploiting the Oklahoma tragedy for no other reason than to create division and ratings.

Confirmations and updates will be posted as they become available.

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