Student Refuses Assignment on the Devil

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A North Carolina student was threatened with a failing grade if she didn't complete an assignment she said violated her Christian beliefs.

Honor student Tieanna Trough is usually eager about school work. But when she received an assignment to write a paper on making a deal with the devil, she refused.

"I believe you don't write about how to sell your soul to the devil," Trough said. That's because Trough is a Christian.

The assignment was part of a creative writing class at Grays Creek High School meant to get students thinking. Students had been studying a book called "The Devil and Tom Walker" about a miser who sold his soul to the devil to get rich.

Students were told to write an essay on how they would sell their souls to the devil, or what trade they would make with the devil.

When Trough refused to write the essay, she said her teacher offered her a lousy deal: to either do it, or get a zero.

Trough parents their said their daughter's rights were violated. They complained to school officials after Trough was given another assignment that still conflicted with their daughter's beliefs.

"We can't allow God into the classrooms, but yet they are going to allow the devil in the classroom. Thats the way I felt," Trough's mother said.

"I think we had a genuine complaint, and we just got lip service instead of really getting attention to the subject," her father said.

The school said the book is standard curriculum material.

"I don't think its anything wrong. I mean parents are going to do what they think is correct and you, I respect that, we can sit down and talk about what we think is right," Principal John Gibbs said.

Trough and her parents held out for a better offer. The school did eventually give her an alternate assignment, one that she and her parents agree doesn't compromise her Christian convictions.

The school gave Trough a third alternate subject: "How and why money is important?"




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CBN News
Charlene  Aaron

Charlene Aaron

CBN News Reporter

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter and helps anchor for the CBN News Channel.  Follow her on Twitter @CharNews and "like" her at