College Suspensions

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Slumberjack

Hoodeet wrote:
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?

A t-shirt with a picture on it is fairly benign in itself if it doesn't say do 'this,' or believe in 'this' or else.  A turban on someone's head is enough to make some people of another faith uncomfortable.  Witness all the airport delays with passengers refusing to fly because of the attire of someone in another seat.  Such religous based attire, or even a t-shirt displaying fangs and horned creatures, only suggests what the person wearing it believes, without the need to involve anyone else.  Those examples don't explicitly say anything of any other belief.  I mean, is this nuance we keep repeating here rocket science or what?  Because I'm starting to think that by introducing the concept of what a person holds to be true, and which doesn't involve some else's belief system, or non-belief system as it were, versus the in your face statements like that kid's t-shirt, is like some technical manual complete with handy formulas and graphs from Einstein's chalkboard.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

CBC wrote:

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.

Finally the piece of the puzzle that clarifies the problem. The Principal should have suspended him for his behaviour not his T-Shirt. No one should have to tolerate being preached to by an arrogant teenager from the dominant religion. Even other teenagers!

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I have no problem with folks having faith, as long as they keep it to their own damned selves. Innocent

Caissa

Wasn't the point of the t-shirt their damned selves, Boom Boom.

Sven Sven's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Finally the piece of the puzzle that clarifies the problem. The Principal should have suspended him for his behaviour not his T-Shirt. No one should have to tolerate being preached to by an arrogant teenager from the dominant religion. Even other teenagers!

So, would you be okay with "being preached to by an arrogant teenager from a non-dominant religion"?

If not, then why even refer to "the dominant" religion? Why not just say "being preached to by an arrogant teenager about a religion"?  If you would be okay with it, then why in one case and not the other?

Sven Sven's picture

Slumberjack wrote:

A t-shirt with a picture on it is fairly benign in itself if it doesn't say do 'this,' or believe in 'this' or else.

[SNIP]

...by introducing the concept of what a person holds to be true, and which doesn't involve some else's belief system, or non-belief system as it were, versus the in your face statements like that kid's t-shirt...

So, is it the "in your face" aspect of this that you object to?  What about in-your-face political statements?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Caissa wrote:

Wasn't the point of the t-shirt their damned selves, Boom Boom.

Souls, not selves. Kiss

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Sven wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Finally the piece of the puzzle that clarifies the problem. The Principal should have suspended him for his behaviour not his T-Shirt. No one should have to tolerate being preached to by an arrogant teenager from the dominant religion. Even other teenagers!

So, would you be okay with "being preached to by an arrogant teenager from a non-dominant religion"?

If not, then why even refer to "the dominant" religion? Why not just say "being preached to by an arrogant teenager about a religion"?  If you would be okay with it, then why in one case and not the other?

It is an aggravating feature of his crime and that is why I mentioned it.

Sven Sven's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Sven wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Finally the piece of the puzzle that clarifies the problem. The Principal should have suspended him for his behaviour not his T-Shirt. No one should have to tolerate being preached to by an arrogant teenager from the dominant religion. Even other teenagers!

So, would you be okay with "being preached to by an arrogant teenager from a non-dominant religion"?

If not, then why even refer to "the dominant" religion? Why not just say "being preached to by an arrogant teenager about a religion"?  If you would be okay with it, then why in one case and not the other?

It is an aggravating feature of his crime and that is why I mentioned it.

So, you now want to elevate the wearing of certain in-your-face, offensive t-shirts to the level of a crime??

God help free speech with thinking like that.

Slumberjack

Sven wrote:
So, is it the "in your face" aspect of this that you object to?  What about in-your-face political statements?

Well, yes now that you bring it up.  S'pose I could have been more emphatic about it earlier in the thread.  Political statements on t-shirts accompanied by dialogue stating to the effect 'vote this way or that way or you're all losers' would be objectionable in a school setting as well wouldn't you think?

Slumberjack

Sven wrote:
God help free speech with thinking like that.

There have been plenty of crimes perpetuated by the religious throughout history that were prefaced with similar statements.  This is why incidents of this nature needs to be stopped before it spreads..yet again.  The message should be no tolerance for religious intolerance.

Sven Sven's picture

Slumberjack wrote:

Political statements on t-shirts accompanied by dialogue stating to the effect 'vote this way or that way or you're all losers' would be objectionable in a school setting as well wouldn't you think?

No.  The only time I'd object is if a student is actually disrupting a classroom (and not by simply wearing a shirt).  But, if a kid is advocating for some political or religious position in the hallways or on the school ground, other students are free to ignore it or retort with a simple, "Fuck you."  It should not be within the power of government to muzzle speech. 

Sven Sven's picture

Slumberjack wrote:

The message should be no tolerance for religious intolerance.

I'm routinely intolerant of religion.  Religions are almost invariably anti-intellectual. They frequently perpetuate unsubstantiated myths.  Too many focus on the "hereafter" rather than the here-and-now (as a way of controlling behavior). 

Now, that said, I'm not so intolerant that I want to bar religious beliefs (that wouldn't even be possible, anyway), but I feel free to exercise my own right of speech to criticize religion in the harshest possible terms. 

Oh, and I don't believe in just criticizing "the dominant" religion and giving "non-dominant" religious beliefs a pass. 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Sven wrote:

I'm routinely intolerant

Well said.

Cool

Slumberjack

Sven wrote:
Now, that said, I'm not so intolerant that I want to bar religious beliefs (that wouldn't even be possible, anyway), but I feel free to exercise my own right of speech to criticize religion in the harshest possible terms.  Oh, and I don't believe in just criticizing "the dominant" religion and giving "non-dominant" religious beliefs a pass. 

Luckily then, this thread isn't about barring religious belief, but more specifically its about protecting a community of children as represented in a school setting, who have felt it necessary to protect themselves from being abused by religious belief by speaking out.  To me it's no better than having a molester on the loose in the school hallways.  I didn't actually raise the issue of dominant religion vs non-dominant religion, but there might be an element to that as well, depending of course on the demographics of a particular community or school, that could certainly be fleshed out with a little analysis.  I hesitate to try and bore you with it here as it doesn't seem we've been able to move beyond the elementary aspects of this story.

Slumberjack

Sven wrote:
 It should not be within the power of government to muzzle speech. 

A community, in this case a community of youth and children enclosed within the walls and corridors of a school where they have little choice but to attend, are asking for protection.  Their rights as a collective, as a society in their own right, must be balanced against that of the individual who can otherwise practice their right to free speech just about anywhere else from where children must gather in a compulsory environment.  The difference between this situation and a situation like Mount Cashel for instance is in the physical application of abuse vs. the purely psychological.

Caissa

slumberjack wrote:
Luckily then, this thread isn't about barring religious belief, but more specifically its about protecting a community of children as represented in a school setting, who have felt it necessary to protect themselves from being abused by religious belief by speaking out.  To me it's no better than having a molester on the loose in the school hallways. 

 

Care to re-think that comparison?

Caissa

 

By Stacey Foster

foster.stacey@miramichileader.com

04 May 2012 03:11AM

MIRAMICHI - A Grade 10 student who missed more than half the school year received probation from a judge in provincial court last week.

A 16-year-old male appeared in Miramichi provincial court April 27 before judge Geri Mahoney charged with failing to comply with an undertaking by not attending school between Sept. 7, 2011 and Feb. 2, 2012. He pleaded guilty.

Crown prosecutor Malika Levesque said on Feb. 2, police responded to a call from a citizen about several students skipping school. He found the youth near a hostel in Chatham and told them to go back to school. At the end of the day, the officer learned the students did not return to school, she said.

Upon learning the youth, who cannot be named under provisions in the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was under an undertaking with a condition he attend classes, he checked with the school and found out that during the 80 days that classes had been in session, the youth was late three times, suspended for 13 days and absent without excuse for 34 days.

Slumberjack

Well, beyond juvenile detention facilities and the like, the school is as close to a carceral setting as society can make it. I suppose the choice of home schooling exists as an alternate arrangement, but I would argue that it's an unrealistic choice for many families. Any parent who keeps their children away from school, and who does not provide home schooling, can expect to receive at some point the attention of government child services organizations. For most families the school as an institution of state, for all intents and purposes, is compulsory upon the adult and the child. Therefore it presents a different challenge, in terms of the avenues of freedom available to students which might otherwise exist outside of school property, where they could if they so choose avail themselves of the opportunity to flee in any direction from such material and speech and people that they might consider objectionable. Within the school setting they represent a captive audience - fish in a barrel in other words. I see little difference between the case of a young adult, indoctrinated from early childhood into the ways of fundamentalist religion by the adults in his life as it seems to be the case here, preaching to such a captive audience, or providing those same adults access to school for the purposes of relaying such 'fire and brimstone' discourse to young students, who are trapped within the facility itself according to the dictates of the state. In this case, the state owes a duty of protection if it also mandates that children must attend their facilities.

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