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Gay High School Student Suspended For Ripping Bible

Isaiah Smith, an 18-year-old senior at Birdville High School in North Richland Hills, Texas was suspended after he ripped pages out of his Bible in school. Thomas, who was speaking out for gay rights, says he was attempting to make a point

That point earned him a three day suspension. 

The Star-Telegram gives Smith's account of the events, writing:

The incident began Monday when Smith said he brought his Bible to his first-period Spanish class after earlier being bullied for his sexual orientation.

He described how a substitute teacher was overseeing the class that day when students began taunting him about how he was going to hell.

Smith said he then started tearing out pages from the Book of Leviticus explaining that when he is bullied, other students often quote Leviticus.

“I think the Bible was a tool for Christians to use to guide them spiritually, emotionally and mentally,” he said.

Smith described how Vice Principal Glenn Serviente told him he could bring his Bible to school, but could not rip it apart in class. Serviente, when contacted by the Star-Telegram, referred all questions to Thomas.

Smith said he carried around his ripped Bible the remainder of the day and Tuesday without incident, but on Wednesday was called to Serviente’s office and reprimanded.

Smith said the assistant principal asked him how Muslims would feel if someone ripped the Quran. Smith responded they would not like it but that he tore up his own Bible, not something belonging to someone else.

Smith said he was told of his suspension, and then described how Serviente “reached around” and confiscated the ripped Bible and put it in his desk.

Smith believes his suspension is unfair and he plans to sue the Birdville School District to have the suspension removed from his record. The Star-Telegram reports that an attorney from the American Humanist Association has taken on his case for free.

A spokesman for the Birdville School District, Mark Thomas says that Smith's suspension was based on him disrupting the learning environment, which Thomas explains is in line with the BISD Student Code of Conduct.

Thomas goes on to say that Smith's suspension was solely based on his behavior and not on the fact that the book that he ripped pages from was a Bible.

Smith's disciplinary slip, however, reads: "distraction and disruption in class by tearing up Bible in class."

Thomas says the school district has begun an inquiry into Smith's claims that he's been bullied. 

What's your take, Instincters? Was Isaiah Smith's suspension justified? Does he have a case against the school district?

 

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Comments

This guy is as ignorant as he looks. This school is better off without him.

God DOES love us!

I don't care what sort of sexuality he is, he got suspended for being a total dick and destroying a religious symbol. Whether it is a Bible, the Quran or the Torah, it's disrespectful and done entirely to get a reaction. And he got one. He's lucky that no one kicked his ass. So what's the issue?

Are you kidding me??? Last I checked this is America..even if he were being "a total dick," it's his right as an American to do what he did. He obviously wasn't being a distraction while he was bullied.

I wonder if the people that were bullying him got suspended too. I bet dollars to donuts that they weren't. Justice?? no sir

Three days suspension and world fame for making the point that the Bible is a book (which makes less sense then Lord of the Rings actually) more often to exclude people then to except them with love; The exact reason why the Romans wrote the book about 400 years after Jesus died. It was written with the idea of controlling the Christians. 

Whose Bible was it? If it belonged to the school, punish him. If it was his very own Bible, leave him alone. It's his property to do with however he sees fit. Can't get any more Solomon than that! :)

Illegal

Get the ACLU involved.  You have a case here.  You may file suit.  It would be an easy win, even in Texas.  

Please I used to rip the pages of my mother's bible to use it as rolling paper for my joints. It's just a book, material thing written by men.

So true !! And ... great idea !!

Yes it's a shame that anyone destroys a book, but it was just a book.

I think it was justified. If someone tore up a rainbow flag - one that was their's - I would still be pissed. So yes, it's justified. The only reason it's being contested is because it's in a prodigiously conservative state. Even if there is a little of bias going on in the background, we should still respect other's religions, even if they don't respect us. Like the guy said, if he tore up a Qu'ran, regardless of whether he was condemning Islam or making a point, he should still get suspended.

As a Catholic Christian, we need to show tolerance here.

Chris

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