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Religious Freedom, Winning Powerball Ticket, New ‘Survivor’ Cast Members

Today's top news from around Southern California.

A girl in the first grade is at the center of a controversy regarding religious freedom. The nonprofit group Advocates for Faith & Freedom claims the student is a victim of discrimination after allegedly not being allowed to share a Bible verse in class. The school district is investigating the matter, and says its policies were followed.

Now, the teacher and principal under fire have addressed the school district's governing board.

From Temecula Patch:

Hello Members of the Board,

My name is Tammy Williams and I am a first grade teacher at Helen Hunt Jackson Elementary School. Last Tuesday, my reputation was questioned by the family of a student in my class and the Advocates for Faith and Freedom with accusations that I was hostile and bullied a child in my class over her religious beliefs. I wanted to make a statement here tonight to respond to these untrue accusations.

… This student was not the last student to present as had been reported. I still had a couple of students after her (which was the Student of the Day and the Student of the Week). When she started her share, she pulled out her golden star that I held for her as she pulled out her prepared speech written by one of her parents.” 

Read the full story and the principal’s statement on Temecula Patch.

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