Teacher Suspended for Denying Wiccan Altar

March 4, 2010

Author: Lee Rood

Source: The Des Moines Register


A Guthrie Center teacher this week received a five-day unpaid suspension for insubordination for not allowing a student to build a Wiccan altar in his shop class - discipline he said he still doesn't agree with.

Dale Halferty, who has taught industrial arts at Guthrie Center High School for three years, said he was asked to meet with the school district superintendent and high school principal when he returns to work Tuesday.

Halferty said Wednesday he still doesn't understand why school officials are forcing him to act against his own beliefs as a Christian and allow the student to disrupt his class with a project based on a religion he believes is wrong and bad for youth.

"Personally, I think it's offensive to worship rocks and trees," Halferty said of Wicca, a religion based on ancient beliefs and a reverence for the Earth. "I am just trying to be moral. I don't know how we can profess to be Christians and let this go on."