Friday, March 09, 2007

Students get suspended for praying in school

You probably saw it in the Oregonian - the story about the students who were suspended from Heritage High School in Vancouver because they defied the administration by refusing to form a club for the purpose of meeting in prayer before school.

There were several details that the story did not answer that would be very relevant to judging whether the administration acted reasonably or not. Victoria Taft interviewed one of the students a couple nights ago, and Victoria had the sense to ask the relevant question: were the students causing any kind of disturbance or disrupting in any way the education of the other kids?

From what the student said (which has really not been contradicted by the school officials at all) there was no disturbance being caused by these kids. They were gathering in the student commons before school, and praying.

Apparently what the principal was worried about was other kids who were offended by seeing the Christian kids praying, and so they started taunting them and threatening to conduct Satan-worship sessions next to them.

Afraid of some kind of altercation, the principal told the kids they had to form a club for their "meetings," and hold their sessions in a room set aside for the club. The kids refused, took a stand, prayed in the commons, and were suspended.

Here's where the principal was dead wrong: imagine if a bunch of gay students met before school in an informal group to support each other and prepare for the day. Suppose they held hands and talked with each other about the challenges they would face that day and hoped for the strength to meet them.

And suppose some other students taunted them, and threatened to hold anti-gay sessions next to them each morning.

Do you think the school administration would respond by telling the gay students they had to form a club and take their meetings into a private room?

No way - they would deal with the taunters, and protect the rights of the gay students to associate in public, as they well should. But there should not be a double standard for the Christian students.

The district here is in very shaky constitutional ground, and I assume they know it.
Expect a total capitulation, and soon.


Anonymous said...

Rob, just another glaring example of the anti-Christian bias in the public schools.

Your analogy of the gay student group is a good one. If students reacted to the gay group that way, they would be dealt with severely.

But to threaten Christians? Well, that is the Christian's fault.

Mick said...

Your comparison is good, but gay group often goes one step further to violence. That's why people are so afraid of it now.

Anonymous: Nobody threatened anyone. Anti-christian bias in public schools? In America?


Lois said...

The satanic threat is an old one. I was a part of an "unofficial" prayer group more than 20 years ago at my high school. Our leaders went to the principal to ask if we could put up a couple of posters to let more kids know. His response was that he didn't want us to become "official" because then he would have to give permission for the satan worshippers to meet. Our response was bring it on! We weren't afraid of them, and we doubted that much would come of it either. In the end we respected authority and stuck to our unofficial status. We grew anyway by word of mouth.

I am sure that no principal wants satan worshipping at his/her school, but it's an upside down argument. We are going to shut down the legitimate for fear of the illegitimate.

Ironically enough Rob, you know the principal of whom I speak very well :)

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Anonymous said...

It ticks me of just thinking about it, I'm doing a report on pray in public school you be serprised on how some students got serspended. Some of the sudents didn't have to be praying in the open either.