The assignment given to Erin Shead's class was simple:  Write about your idol. When the 10-year old chose to write about 'God', she was told no.

“It was so cute and innocent. She talked about how God created the earth and how she’s doing the best she can,” Erin's mother, Erica Shead told Memphis TV station WREG.

Erin then chose Michael Jackson as her idol, and that was deemed appropriate by the teacher.

The Shelby County school system later clarified its policy about religious expression in the classroom, calling the situation a "regrettable mistake."

"No laws or district policies allow teachers to limit students’ expression of religious beliefs in their personal classwork."