Proof You Can Be Suspended for Anything

If you ever wanted proof that:

a. Schools have gone mad with over-regulation;

b. Political correctness is a form of sickness;

c. Free speech is not part of the modern day educational charter; and

d. You can be suspended nowadays for absolutely anything.

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.

“I believe there are things that are bigger than me. And I think that I need to stand up for the rights of people in this country, and religious rights and freedom of speech,” he told CBC.

Officials with the South Shore Regional School Board plan to meet with Swinimer to hopefully reach a compromise.

Nancy Pynch-Worthylake, board superintendent, said some students and teachers found the T-shirt offensive.

“When one is able or others are able to interpret it as, ‘If you don’t share my belief then your life is wasted,’ that can be interpreted by some as being inappropriate,” she said.

So the school have just suspended him for 5 days for his horrendous crime (note sarcasm) and what is their first reaction on his return?

Officials with the South Shore Regional School Board plan to meet with Swinimer to hopefully reach a compromise.

Wow! Who gives a significant punishment and then seeks a compromise when that punishment has been shown up to be utterly useless? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? First you seek to compromise, then if nothing eventuates, you consider a punishment.

I don’t endorse the message of this boys’ t-shirt, but I fully stand up for his right to wear it. Free speech is a hallmark of a working democracy. Free speech entitles this child to wear his t-shirt, even if others feel a bit uncomfortable with the message. Sure, the Prinsipal can ask him to stop wearing it, but should not be able to force him.

We have got to stop getting tangled under the oppression of political correctness. Instead, we must leave suspensions for real behavioural offences and do everything in our powers to ensure that free speech and the other tenets of our democratic systems are alive and well in the schoolyard.


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4 Responses to “Proof You Can Be Suspended for Anything”

  1. NotAScientist Says:

    He should certainly be allowed to wear that shirt. And anyone of other religions should be allowed to wear similar shirts. That’s just silly.

  2. John Tapscott Says:

    This comes under a category I refer to as frogspittle. It reminds me of a school development day when we were forced to come up with a statement of school values. Now to me school values are revealed by what is played out in the day to day operation of the school. I have seen so many schools give the lie to their values statements by what actually happens because what actually happens shows what is valued. All too often school values statements are all about motherhood and apple pie or are a statement of wishful thinking. One would expect that young William’s making a statement via his t-shirt would be consistently demonstrating the statement by the way he leads his life. Now the way one leads one’s life is a much more eloquent statement than anything written on a t-shirt or anything written in a school’s values statement.

    I have taught in a Christian school. Only the school I taught in, under the then principal, was more of a cult than it was of Christ. Children and staff were upbraided for referring to traffic cones as “witches’ hats”. Everybody calls them witches hats. What’s the big deal?!

    What is the point of a school saying they value democracy if their principal is a tyrant?

  3. John Tapscott Says:

    Witches and witchcraft do exist in this day and age and they seem to take themselves very seriously. However, they are nowhere near the mainstream.

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