A middle school in Georgia has issued an apology after parents complained about a poem presented during class that compared God to a mythical creature.
Some parents were reportedly outraged after reading a poem that had been distributed to students at Cedartown Middle School.
"God is like a mythical creature/A unicorn with silver blood/If you drink the blood, you will live forever/It makes a good story in a book like Harry Potter," the poem titled "Unicorn" reads, as reported by Christian News Network.
"The idea of God makes young children laugh and feel safe at night/But when you grow older and see the evil in the world/And the face of death like a shadow behind the eyes of every living thing/Then where is God? Then God is revealed in all his foolishness/A naked lie, a childish dream, a mythical creature like the unicorn," it continued.
Principal Shannon Hulsey said that she understands why parents were upset, noting that there were concerns about the basis of the poem and who wrote it.
Officials at the school said that the poem was distributed as part of the ancient mythology curriculum and that the work was used by students to compare to short stories on Greek gods.
Teachers at the school claimed that the poem was used for a sixth-grade Greek mythology lesson to show how a unicorn is supposed to represent a happy and safe place.
Hulsey explained that the work was just pulled out by one of the teachers from a folder full of materials, but she said they are not sure where the poem came from or who put it in the pile of materials.
According to The Blaze, the poem appears in a 2013 collection of poems that is believed to be authored by a teenager named Johar Mohammad.
Mohammad, who noted in the introduction that he's a practicing Muslim, indicated that "Unicorn" was among a number of poems written by his tuition teacher's students. He noted that the work, penned by someone identified only as "Kiefer," was written from an atheist perspective.
However, The Blaze noted that the Polk School District has not confirmed whether the poem was pulled from Mohammad's collection or from another source.
The school principal said that the poem will never be used again. "This was a mistake. In no way whatsoever would we want to defame God or go anywhere in that direction at the school," Hulsey said.