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N.Y. Teacher Fights Modern-Day 'Witch Trial'

Woman Says She Was Fired Because Principal Said She Practiced Witchcraft

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Reid Lamberty

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(CBS) HAMPTON BAYS, N.Y. A Long Island elementary school teacher is suing the Hampton Bays school district after she was fired because her administrators allegedly believed she was a witch teaching witchcraft to her students. Her lawyer is calling the case a "21st century re-enactment of the Salem Witchcraft Trials."

Lauren Berrios told CBS 2 that she was terminated after she was told that she "entice[d] children into witchcraft and magic through literature."

Berrios, who was born a Catholic before converting to Judaism, said she was fired in 2001 after being falsely accused of being a witch, which is now the basis of her $2 million lawsuit. Her attorney, John Ray, says she was the victim of a public school district trying to push Christian values.

"There's unquestionably in this matter a question of church and state being not separated, but being brought together by born-again Christians in this school," Ray said.

A school spokesperson says Berrios' claim lacks merit, but in 2003 the school's principal at the time testified he believed that Berrios practiced witchcraft.

"Every school that I go to interview in I have to disclose to them that I was denied tenure for enticing children into witchcraft and magic," Berrios says.

Even before she was fired, Berrios says her principal removed books from her classroom, including the popular series "Goosebumps," as well as "Harry Potter." She believes books that didn't mesh with principal's religious values, even including African-American literature, were taken out of her curriculum.

Ray admits that Berrios' appearance didn't help her cause either, especially when she was teaching her students about the Salem witch trials. "Mrs. Berrios has long fingernails, wears dark make-up, wears black," he said.

Berrios' very own modern-day witch trial will likely draw to a close this week. The case will be decided by a federal jury beginning Wednesday.

(© MMVII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

http://wcbstv.com/topstories/local_story_065160805.html

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N.Y. Teacher Fights Modern-Day 'Witch Trial'

Woman Says She Was Fired Because Principal Said She Practiced Witchcraft

Featured Slideshow: Celebrity Real Names Revealed

Featured Slideshow: Openly Gay Celebrities

Image

Reid Lamberty

Reporting

(CBS) HAMPTON BAYS, N.Y. A Long Island elementary school teacher is suing the Hampton Bays school district after she was fired because her administrators allegedly believed she was a witch teaching witchcraft to her students. Her lawyer is calling the case a "21st century re-enactment of the Salem Witchcraft Trials."

Lauren Berrios told CBS 2 that she was terminated after she was told that she "entice[d] children into witchcraft and magic through literature."

Berrios, who was born a Catholic before converting to Judaism, said she was fired in 2001 after being falsely accused of being a witch, which is now the basis of her $2 million lawsuit. Her attorney, John Ray, says she was the victim of a public school district trying to push Christian values.

"There's unquestionably in this matter a question of church and state being not separated, but being brought together by born-again Christians in this school," Ray said.

A school spokesperson says Berrios' claim lacks merit, but in 2003 the school's principal at the time testified he believed that Berrios practiced witchcraft.

"Every school that I go to interview in I have to disclose to them that I was denied tenure for enticing children into witchcraft and magic," Berrios says.

Even before she was fired, Berrios says her principal removed books from her classroom, including the popular series "Goosebumps," as well as "Harry Potter." She believes books that didn't mesh with principal's religious values, even including African-American literature, were taken out of her curriculum.

Ray admits that Berrios' appearance didn't help her cause either, especially when she was teaching her students about the Salem witch trials. "Mrs. Berrios has long fingernails, wears dark make-up, wears black," he said.

Berrios' very own modern-day witch trial will likely draw to a close this week. The case will be decided by a federal jury beginning Wednesday.

(© MMVII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

http://wcbstv.com/topstories/local_story_065160805.html

Well, I certainly hope the ACLU will offer to defend her. After all, witches deserve to be protected by the constitution too. I wonder if casting evil spells on people constitutes "protected speech" ??

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Well, I certainly hope the ACLU will offer to defend her. After all, witches deserve to be protected by the constitution too.  I wonder if casting evil spells on people constitutes "protected speech" ??

once you smear an individual you can never unsmear them. That tactic is used by mentally ill people who know in their heart and mind they are not up to the task at hand. The threads on this board will win this kids harassment case.

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So was she preaching a particular religion to her students? The article doesn't say... and everything else cited seems to be irrelevant.

Why exactly was she fired?

According to most of the stories i've read about the case, she wasnt fired for being a "Witch" she was fired for being Bughouse crazy..to the point that co-workers had contacted their version of DYFS because they thought she might be a danger to her Kid.

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