College Suspensions

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Caissa
College Suspensions

I have never been a fan of institutions taking action against students for off-campus behaviour. See story below.

A college in London, Ont., has suspended eight students following St. Patrick's Day riots over the weekend that caused an estimated $100,000 damage and led to 11 arrests.

Howard Rundle, the president of Fanshawe College, told a news conference today the administration was taking the off-campus violence seriously and would be conducting its own investigation alongside police efforts.

Under the school's student code of conduct, Fanshawe can impose academic penalties on students whose off-campus actions might affect the health and safety of others in the college community.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/03/19/london-riots-st-patricks-...

Unionist

Caissa wrote:

I have never been a fan of institutions taking action against students for off-campus behaviour. 

Well surely it depends, Caissa, as in the case of employers taking action against employees for off-duty behaviour.

If a student sexually harasses another student at the bar down the street from campus, I wouldn't pull technicalities by saying it was "off-campus", therefore the institution can't act to protect the victim.

If the actions of the suspended students can in fact be shown to have affected "the health and safety of others in the college community" - and I have no clue whether that is the case in the present situation - then surely the administration has not only a right, but a duty, to investigate and take action accordingly.

No?

 

Caissa

No. We have courts to deal with students' illegal behaviour off-campus.

I have great difficulties giving colleges and universities quasi-judicial powers over students. These often constitute a form of double jeopardy.

I'm willing to say it occassionally "depends".  However, the onus of evidence needs to rest with the institution. "Health and sfaety of others in the college community" is too broad of criteria. In addition, sufficient time has not been taken to investigate behaviour before suspensions were handed out.

The cynic in me sees this as nothing but a pr move on the part of Fanshawe.

 

Caissa

And high school suspensions:

A Christian student suspended from a high school in Nova Scotia for sporting a T-shirt with the slogan "Life is wasted without Jesus" vows to wear it when he returns to class next week.

William Swinimer, who's in Grade 12, was suspended from Forest Heights Community School in Chester Basin in Lunenburg County for five days. He's due to return to class on Monday.

The devout Christian says the T-shirt is an expression of his beliefs, and he won't stop wearing it.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2012/05/03/ns-jesus-shir...

Slumberjack

After what, 12 years in school plus primary, and he still hasn't learned how to socialize with his fellow students.  I'd say its high time he got an F on his report card in the section reserved for getting along with others, and an outright expulsion considered.  As is usually the case with rude religion, here it isn't about professing a personal belief, but about attacking the belief systems of others.  I blame the parents.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

So long as other students are allowed to wear "Christians KILL" and "Jesus blows dead bears" t-shirts, I'll go along with Caissa.

Caissa

I don't agree with the school's decision. The same logic would allow them to ban left-wing forms of expression on shirts.

Caissa

Just to be clear, that is a quote from the CBC news article.

Freedom 55

[edited for clarity]

CBC wrote:

The devout Christian says the T-shirt is an expression of his beliefs, and he won't stop wearing it.

 

When he gets back from suspension he should take it up a notch:

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I find it hard to blieve this is the same Fanshawe College that sponsored the Jane Fonda protest along with many of her supporters against the Viet Nam war in 1970 - I was there. Quite a few folks from UWO as well. The whole thing was delayed until 2am  because of a fracas at the border crossing where Fonda "had words" with the Ontario border cops. I'm trying to remember if there were rock bands playing to fill the dead air, but my recollection of that evening is a bit sketchy - we were all smoking pot as I recall. I do remember Fonda, despite being tired and angry, nevertheless gave a rousing speech.

Slumberjack

Caissa wrote:
I don't agree with the school's decision. The same logic would allow them to ban left-wing forms of expression on shirts.

No, not the same logic.  The t-shirt is an incitement and an insult against others.  It just doesn't say "I believe in Jesus."  It says everyone else's life is worthless unless they too believe in Jesus.  It has no place in an institution funded by everyone.  Essentially, you agree that this student should be permitted to display offensive statements that spout an opinion about other people's lives.  What about a placard telling his fellow students they're all going to hell?  It's the same message as the one he's already worn.  Apparently its not the first time he's been told not to display it at school.  Just because he's Christian, you believe he should have the right to express vile ignorance against what other people are trying to make of their lives?  How about just that, "I believe in Jesus?"  But no, freaks like this are never satisified with that.  They're apparently not satisified until given a free ride to shit on everyone else wherever they please.

CDN_FORCES

I agree with Caissa. There were ads on the TTC that said "There is no god but Allah", and found to be OK. Same logic.

 


Slumberjack

Well, TTC riders who might object to that statement have every right to complain about it, and to expect that it be taken down, or to at least have the statement itself removed.  Public spaces are not churches, mosques or temples, etc.  What I don't get is why it's so difficult to understand the concept of keeping one's offensive shit to oneself, especially in the public domain and on display areas funded by everyone's taxes and patronage.

Caissa

I'm far more reticient to restrict speech in public than you are Slumberjack. I see very little difference between political, religious and philosophical speech. I find it especially egregious when schools try to limit speech.

CDN_FORCES

Slumberjack wrote:

Well, TTC riders who might object to that statement have every right to complain about it, and to expect that it be taken down, or to at least have the statement itself removed.  Public spaces are not churches, mosques or temples, etc.  What I don't get is why it's so difficult to understand the concept of keeping one's offensive shit to oneself, especially in the public domain and on display areas funded by everyone's taxes and patronage.

They did complain about it. The ads were found to not violate any laws or statutes. The kid's t-shirt falls under the same code.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I hope some other student take up this free speech cause and start selling T-Shirts that have provocative statements on them. 

"Live is Wasted With Jesus" [A picture of Jesus with a doobie would be appropriate]

"Believing in Jesus is like Believing in the Tooth Fairy"  [I think adding a fairy wand and wings to a picture of Jesus would be nice]

"Jesus is a Myth" 

I kind of just like the slogan and I am sure there are many students who could honestly claim they believe in that concept.  Maybe they could donate the funds to a center for recovering Xian's.  Someplace they could go to unlearn their superiority complex.

Slumberjack

Caissa wrote:
I find it especially egregious when schools try to limit speech.

It's not about limiting speech, it's about not tolerating attacks on other students.  What about a t-shirt with a big ole swaztica on the front, or one that says homosexuality is a waste of one's life?  Why is it so difficult for you to understand the distinction between a personal statement of faith that minds it's own business that no one should care about, and a personal statement of faith that attacks someone else in the process?

Slumberjack

kropotkin1951 wrote:
I hope some other student take up this free speech cause and start selling T-Shirts that have provocative statements on them.  "Live is Wasted With Jesus" [A picture of Jesus with a doobie would be appropriate]

That would be just in reaction to the original offense, something religions have been doing to one another for centuries. These people thrive on the martyrdom complex.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

CDN_FORCES wrote:

They did complain about it. The ads were found to not violate any laws or statutes. The kid's t-shirt falls under the same code.

I did not know that the TTC was considered a student under the Nova Scotia Education Act and subject to the same statutory requirements. Seems to me this young student is in contravention of 24(1)(d) and (e).  My T-Shirts above where meant as sarcasm because I think that people who are deluded enough to believe in god should not be faced with this kind of in your face disrespect of their beliefs no matter how deluded. Respect is a two way street and in a public school that respect must go both ways.  His T-Shirt is disrespectful of other students and his refusal to acknowledge the discipline system is confrontational.

http://nslegislature.ca/legc/statutes/eductn.htm

 


Caissa

I love it when babblers are supporting the coercive power of the state.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I don't want my grandchildren going to schools where other kids are allowed to wear "belief" T-Shirts. How about "Homosexuals are Immoral" is that okay by you?  It is as prominent an Xian belief as the BS about the one way to "heaven" is through Jesus.

Caissa

Your hypothetical shirt would be hate speech. I support any child wearing a shirt proclaiming their religion is the only correct one just like I would support a child wearing a shirt advocating for their political party as being the only correct one.

Slumberjack

Caissa wrote:
I love it when babblers are supporting the coercive power of the state.

It's either that, or we could let anarchists mediate the problem.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Caissa wrote:

Your hypothetical shirt would be hate speech. I support any child wearing a shirt proclaiming their religion is the only correct one just like I would support a child wearing a shirt advocating for their political party as being the only correct one.

The T-Shirt he was wearing did not just affirm his positive belief. It specifically downgrades anyone's non-christian experience.  A T-Shirt saying "Jesus is my Saviour" is fine by me but one saying "Jesus is my Saviour and Non-Believers are going to Burn in Hell" is not okay in a public school setting.

"Life is wasted without Jesus"

How about "Jesus says Homsexuality is a Waste of Life."

Caissa

Your example would follow under hate speech, the shirt he wore would not.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Caissa wrote:

Your example would follow under hate speech, the shirt he wore would not.

Of course it would and rightly so.  That is because it specifies an identifiable group.  While I don't think that his T-shirt meets that  "hate" criteria it certainly does say that ALL non-Xians lead wasted lives.  That is just full out disrespect for fellow classmates not an expression of faith. Respect for others is a good thing to enforce in a public school system.  If he wants to spew that kind of hate towards all non believers he should pay the money and go to a private school.

Caissa

I'd likewise support a student wearing a shirt saying "Life is wasted without socialism." 

milo204

i really hate this idea that we have to protect each other from being offended.  what the hell do i care if some religious person thinks i'm wasting my life?  that's only their opinion, which doesn't really matter to me since it has zero impact on my life.

more offensive in this case is probably the odour eminating from a teenager wearing the same t shirt six days in a row.  now THAT is truly offensive...

Sven Sven's picture

Caissa wrote:

I love it when babblers are supporting the coercive power of the state.

No shit.

The problem with banning "offensive" speech through the power of the state is that your speech may be deemed to be "offensive" and you will be muzzled.

Besides, what the hell is so "offensive" about this kid's t-shirt?    If someone wears a shirt that says, "You will got to HELL if you don't believe in Christ [or follow Allah]," who gives a shit?  As an atheist, I'd just laugh to myself at such moronic slogans.  But "offensive"?  No.  Should it be banned?  Absolutely not.

Sven Sven's picture

Oh, and as to that ad in the TTC?

Big.  Fucking.  Deal.

Sven Sven's picture

Slumberjack wrote:

Well, TTC riders who might object to that statement have every right to complain about it, and to expect that it be taken down, or to at least have the statement itself removed.  Public spaces are not churches, mosques or temples, etc.  What I don't get is why it's so difficult to understand the concept of keeping one's offensive shit to oneself, especially in the public domain and on display areas funded by everyone's taxes and patronage.

We better make sure that minarets and church steeples are not within view of public streets, either.  My eyeballs might burn out of their sockets if I saw such sight out in the open and in public view.

Sven Sven's picture

milo204 wrote:

i really hate this idea that we have to protect each other from being offended.  what the hell do i care if some religious person thinks i'm wasting my life?  that's only their opinion, which doesn't really matter to me since it has zero impact on my life.

Precisely.

Sven Sven's picture

Freedom 55 wrote:

When he gets back from suspension he should take it up a notch:

The use of the word "the" in that t-shirt is hilarious!

Slumberjack

Sven wrote:
We better make sure that minarets and church steeples are not within view of public streets, either.  My eyeballs might burn out of their sockets if I saw such sight out in the open and in public view.

They're usually build on private property no?  A subway wall is public space, paid for by everyone.  The sight of an glassy office tower with a CIBC or BMO sign etc, offends me as well, but under the current societal arrangements they have the right to show themselves in that manner.  But I wouldn't want BMO to begin advertising on the walls of school corridors saying that if you're not with us you're wasting your life.

NDPP

CDN_FORCES wrote:

Slumberjack wrote:

Well, TTC riders who might object to that statement have every right to complain about it, and to expect that it be taken down, or to at least have the statement itself removed.  Public spaces are not churches, mosques or temples, etc.  What I don't get is why it's so difficult to understand the concept of keeping one's offensive shit to oneself, especially in the public domain and on display areas funded by everyone's taxes and patronage.

They did complain about it. The ads were found to not violate any laws or statutes. The kid's t-shirt falls under the same code.

NDPP

As a TTC Rider, I am bombarded with advertising of all kinds religious and secular. CDN_FORCES omitted to mention that the image above and campaign against this particular Islamic outreach, as opposed to all the other corporate and  religious advertising, is a campaign mounted and promoted by Jewish Defence League Canada in their relentless demonization of all things Islamic and promotion of all things Zionist. Are you a JDL supporter CDN_FORCES?

Hoodeet

Offensive t-shirts seem to be part of the academic landscape, perhaps designed to provoke or challenge.  I remember some years ago having to endure a freshman in one of my classes  who showed up wearing a t-shirt displaying a dozen or so sexual positions.  

Why should a Jesus slogan  be penalized, or Che's image,  or an anarchist slogan? 

Then there are the young women wearing what used to be underwear instead of blouses. Bare midriff.  Crotch-length shorts.  

Young men with baggy pants dragging on the ground and airing  half their buttocks.

It might be worth pondering this too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bacchus

Slumberjack wrote:

Sven wrote:
We better make sure that minarets and church steeples are not within view of public streets, either.  My eyeballs might burn out of their sockets if I saw such sight out in the open and in public view.

They're usually build on private property no?  A subway wall is public space, paid for by everyone.  The sight of an glassy office tower with a CIBC or BMO sign etc, offends me as well, but under the current societal arrangements they have the right to show themselves in that manner.  But I wouldn't want BMO to begin advertising on the walls of school corridors saying that if you're not with us you're wasting your life.

 

Technically the subway is private property owned by the company that runs them like a mall is. Since you can get banned from the property according to their rules

jas

Caissa wrote:

And high school suspensions:

A Christian student suspended from a high school in Nova Scotia for sporting a T-shirt with the slogan "Life is wasted without Jesus" vows to wear it when he returns to class next week.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2012/05/03/ns-jesus-shir...

 

Yeah, I don't even see what the issue is here. If I wore that shirt ironically, I would be suspended too?

It is not hate speech. Not the same thing.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Bacchus wrote:

Technically the subway is private property owned by the company that runs them like a mall is. Since you can get banned from the property according to their rules

If you look at the ad box it is a Patterson. The TTC for a fee allows Patterson to sell advertising to anyone who wants to pay for it.  Advertising a mosque or advertising a nightclub, what is the difference?

As for the T-Shirts I think I might be able to change my opinion but I still can't get past the fact christians are oppressors and it is in fact an oppressor's message.  For me church repression is not only historic it is also personal.  So too me it feels like a hate crime and it is why I think it is similar to direct references to homosexuals.  But then I guess it is no big deal to have the majority religion disparage others who don't share their believes even when that specific belief about christian superiority, trumpeted on the T-Shirt, has lead to so much suffering.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I think the kid's a prick for wearing a t-shirt that bears a prick message. Since it in a sense attacks other religions or those with no religion at all, and is really 'in your face' with its message,  I would support the school banning his ass if he shows up to school wearing that t-shirt again.

Sven Sven's picture

Boom Boom wrote:

I think the kid's a prick for wearing a t-shirt that bears a prick message. Since it in a sense attacks other religions or those with no religion at all, and is really 'in your face' with its message,  I would support the school banning his ass if he shows up to school wearing that t-shirt again.

So, in essence, you'd ban the kid for being a prick.

Freedom 55

I wonder how much of an impact this actually has on his fellow students. If people at his school are genuinely hurt by his shirt, than I don't want to diminish that. But on the scale of school bullying I don't see this as ranking all that high. 'You're wasting your life' might be the nicest thing some students hear all day.

Hoodeet

What if a student gets tired of school, is bored, etc., and resorts to wearing an obnoxious t-shirt in order to get suspended or expelled?

Neat ruse, eh?  Easy alternative to playing hooky.  Just a thought...

 

Hoodeet

follow-up:  Nothing really wrong with some sort of dress code that would preclude provocative items or offensive t-shirts.  I don't propose uniforms, necessarily, but certainly clear rules, that only t-shirts with NO images or wording will be acceptable. 

Taking the issue to an extreme, someone might conceivably object to a T-shirt showing a foreign country, as being a snob's way of showing off that he or she had the wherewithal to travel, thus humiliating poorer students.

 

Hell, a simple uniform, nothing expensive, would be the young person's clothing for 10 hours a day 5 days a week and would just take the place of other clothing, which might be even more expensive if there is peer pressure to conform to styles and fashions.

 

 

CDN_FORCES

Looks like this has blown over. He's allowed to wear the shirt.

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2012/05/04/ns-jesus-shir...

 

The Nova Scotia student suspended from school for five days for wearing a T-shirt with the slogan "Life Is Wasted Without Jesus" will be allowed to wear it, the school board has ruled.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Good to see it go away. I feel soooo sorry for the poor little boy. Imagine having to live his life of constant discrimination.  His arrogant sense of privilege wrapped into a tale of being a victim makes me want to puke.

William Swinimer wrote:

"Some people say you're not supposed to have religion in school. Well, every other religion is in that school and they constantly put Christianity down," he said.

Slumberjack

Boom Boom wrote:
Since it in a sense attacks other religions or those with no religion at all, and is really 'in your face' with its message...

It's a statement from a certain constituency that is partly an expression of faith.  However; it is as well something you might expect from someone or some group feeling threatened. It appears as a relatively benign note of bravado, but one to all the agendas crowding out a way of life that had previously influenced over everything. It could be said that the agenda of the t-shirt enjoys the support of an influential base in this country, that often uses the term 'agenda' to refer to selected expressions of rights which continue to be smothered under many oppressions. The reason for this persistence in society is because it is largely invisible in the way it permeates through every discussion, because there's nothing wrong.  Everything appears normal.  Even the re-emergence of the way of the cloth in the form of a religious banner waging a counter-offensive.

Hoodeet

Well, speaking as an agnostic respectful of others whose religious beliefs are a central part of their lives, my 2 cents is/are:

1)  that T-shirts and buttons bearing a profession of faith are bound to make other people of faith, and agnostics and perhaps even some atheists, uncomfortable, or at the very least make it hard to maintain a civil dialogue in spaces like school where such a dialogue is part of day-to-day transactions;  and conversely,

2)  people wearing t shirts with satanic images are probably even more upsetting to people of faith, but where have we heard of students being banned for displaying horned creatures with fangs and blazing eyes on their torsos or backs?

 

 

Hoodeet

T-shirts with images and wording are essentially walking advertisements.  As someone revulsed by consumer culture, I could never stomach t-shirts emblazoned with trade marks. 

Perhaps part of a proper education could be to lead students to understand the significance of such overt statements, whether verbal or visual, and to understand that you are essentially a sandwich-board for Christianity, or satanism, or the local watering hole -- ultimately you become part of a parade of in-your-face marketing.  And those people need to own it, in the sense of understanding its significance and learning to consider its potential impact. 

Having said this, I think their response might just be to blink at you, with no comprehension, given that they spend hours in front of a screen dominated by advertising, which for them is "no big deal".

 

 

 

Caissa

I wonder if he will seek damages now.

ETA:

A Nova Scotia student suspended from classes for five days for wearing a T-shirt with the slogan "Life Is Wasted Without Jesus" returned to school today wearing the same garment, but he was quickly taken home by his father.

William Swinimer, who's in Grade 12, was scheduled to attend a session for all students on how to express their beliefs in a way that is respectful to all.

But John Swinimer said he wants Forest Heights Community School in Chester Basin, Lunenburg County, to only teach the basic courses, leaving religion out of it.

Students said William Swinimer has been preaching his Christian beliefs, making them feel uncomfortable, and the shirt was the last straw, so they complained.

Experts from the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, the departments of education and justice, and guidance counsellors are at the school to conduct voluntary sessions so students can discuss the issue of religious tolerance.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2012/05/07/ns-jesus-shir...

Slumberjack

Quote:
"He's told kids they'll burn in hell if they don't confess themselves to Jesus," student Riley Gibb-Smith said.

It's as I've said before.  Religious fundamentalism belongs on the fringe, in private residences, or in the houses of worship, not out in public to be shoved down everyone's throat.  They will always be the give an inch take a mile crowd by the very nature of what they hold to be true.  Some of you take no issue with subjecting other students to this nonsense.  I can't say that I'm surprised.

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