… Or so intoned the Janesville, Wisconsin student during show and tell just before he started ripping his Bible to shreds.

The school responded to this as a “safety matter.”

One child felt particularly “endangered” by this show of bravado, and her father has pulled his kids out of the school and has apparently forced school administrators to treat this as a safety issue, and punish the student. The school is silent on the nature of the punishment, but insists that while the student is constitutionally protected in his decision to rip pages out of his own bible, he was being punished for safety related reasons.

Sounds to me like exactly the kind of two-faced reasoning one might expect from Janesville, Wisconsin…. (groan)

The father of the freaked-out child had this to say:

The school worries about his right to privacy and to free speech that to teachers’ rights or the students’ right to safety … It’s not about free speech. It’s not about necessarily about the Bible although that was disgusting, too. This is about the vicious, vile manner in the way this kid went about this and tried to make some kind of point.

According to the newspaper report which is my only source on this story, “In a separate incident, following the punishment, three Parker High Students wore T-shirts asking for the student in question to be brought back after a punishment was levied against him. School officials made those students change clothes.”

Comments

  1. #1 user
    December 29, 2007

    sounds like a douchebag

    would it be appropriate to show a picture of a lynching and say “how ’bout that niggers?”

  2. #2 Craig Pennington
    December 29, 2007

    sounds like a douchebag said:

    would it be appropriate to show a picture of a lynching and say “how ’bout that niggers?”

    To be clear,you consider Christians in America today to be comparable to those of African descent half a century ago? Wow.

  3. #3 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    December 29, 2007

    So, how exactly is it a “safety issue?”

  4. #4 user
    December 29, 2007

    ^^obviously not, dumbass

    but it is equally offensive to those that hear it

  5. #5 Tex
    December 29, 2007

    but it is equally offensive to those that hear it

    Neither you nor anyone else has a right not to be offended. On the other hand, we all have a right to say things that others might find offensive.

  6. #6 user
    December 29, 2007

    wow, you really must be from texas to be so fucking stupid.

    go back to never getting laid you ugly bastard

    User banished to dungeon

  7. #7 ZacharySmith
    December 29, 2007

    I doubt anyone would have been concerned about safety if the kid had destroyed a copy of the Communist Manifesto or Mao’s Red Book.

    No one was threatened with violence. Violence against any one or any group was not advocated. If someone is offended by destruction of a bible, tough shit.

    User, you’re a jackass.

  8. #8 kristen in montreal
    December 30, 2007

    I doubt anyone would have been concerned about safety if the kid had destroyed a copy of the Communist Manifesto or Mao’s Red Book.

    Well, that’s probably because there aren’t many practicing communists in that classroom.

    Look, this incident is not the same as if the boy had ripped up the Bible while speaking through a megaphone and standing on a milk crate on his front lawn. He was in a classroom. In a school, there are rules which subject some of our rights & freedoms to reasonable limits. For example, here in Canada we have, as citizens of the USA do, the right to freedom of speech. But that doesn’t mean that students can talk through my lessons, and that doesn’t mean that I, as a teacher, can stand in front of a history class and deny the holocaust, or stand in front of a science class and teach creationism. The same kinds of reasonable limits should apply to students.

    I don’t think the boy should be punished. That would send the wrong message. But I think a teacher should sit down with him and explain that what he did made many of his classmates uncomfortable, and while he has every right to express his opinion, it isn’t appropriate to do something like that in a classroom. A classroom is for learning, and what he did made it difficult for his fellow students to feel comfortable enough to learn. It’s as simple as that.

    I would caution some of the posters in this thread not to turn this into an ideological debate. It shouldn’t be. It is purely a matter of good classroom management.

  9. #9 Greg Laden
    December 30, 2007

    This must have been what it was like to have PZ Myers in your classroom …

  10. #10 Ex-drone
    December 30, 2007

    Mike Haubrich asks:

    So, how exactly is it a “safety issue?”

    I suspect the fundies fear that a Pat Robertson tornado from god will wipe their town off the map.

  11. #11 ZacharySmith
    December 30, 2007

    Kristen –

    I don’t know all the details about the incident, and your point about good classroom management is probably a valid one.

    But the number of practicing Communists vs. the number of practicing Christians is irrelevant. Since no violence against an individual or group was implied, his demonstration was merely expressing an opinion, no different than if he had destroyed an American flag or picture of the Pope or whatever.

    Whether or not such expression is appropriate in the classroom is a matter of school policy to decide. But “safety” is simply a ludicrous attempt to silence the kid’s opinion since christians were offended.

    If there is a policy in place to limit student political or religious expression in the classroom, fine – but make sure it’s applied equally to all.

    Somehow, I doubt anyone would have raised a fuss if a copy of “The God Delusion” had been shredded.

  12. #12 Tex
    December 30, 2007

    On the other hand, we all have a right to say things that others might find offensive.

    wow, you really must be from texas to be so fucking stupid.
    go back to never getting laid you ugly bastard

    That was great, user! Thanks for agreeing with me and making my point in much more colorful language than I did.

  13. #13 greg laden
    December 30, 2007

    Tex:

    Sorry. User was mildly funny when he seemed to be pretending to be a troll. I didn’t realize he was a real troll until just now. He’s chained in the basement or now, but they tend to escape eventually.