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Religious Intolerance invades Nova Scotia School

William Swinimer’s story shocks me, not because I can’t believe it happened, but because of how the vice-principal of Forest Heights Community School in Chester Basin, N.S. characterized William’s T-shirt.

The moronic school bureaucrat called the T-shirt offensive and was nothing more than “hate talk.”

The language on this so-called “offensive” T-shirt?

Life is Wasted Without Jesus

Yeah, that just screams of hatred, doesn’t it?

Perhaps in the minds of idiots it does, but anyone with the common sense God gave a gnat will comprehend that William Swinimer is merely exercising his Right to Freedom of Speech and his Right to Freedom of Religion.

I guess he should have worn a T-shirt promoting one of the “approved” religions, although the vice-principal didn’t seem willing to identify which religions would be okay to have on a T-shirt.

That said, I can’t imagine any student would have been suspended from school for 5 days if they had, for example, worn a T-shirt that said “Life is wasted without Allah.”  No, the school would never have dared attack a Muslim student in this fashion.

Interestingly, the school’s Staff List has been removed from the school’s website.  A web search shows that it existed at http://www.fhcs.ednet.ns.ca/about-us/staff-list/ until recently but has since been taken down.

I guess the vice-principal is willing to issue a suspension for wearing a T-shirt but the he or she is too cowardly to stand up and express his or her rationale for it.  Even worse, the school board is protecting this yahoo by removing the staff list from the internet.

Gotta love gutless God-hating bureaucrats.

What I do love about Willian Swinimer is his response to the stupid edict of the so-far unnamed and protected vice-principal.

I believe this is worth standing up for — it’s not just standing up for religious rights, it’s standing up for my rights as a Canadian citizen; for freedom of speech, freedom of religion. I don’t think this is right.

Swinimer has worn the Jesus T-shirt every day since his series of in-school and at-home suspensions began and will wear it again when he returns to school after his 5-day at-home suspension ends.

Do you think this bureaucritter will have the backbone to carry out his or her threat to suspend William for the rest of the school year for wearing his Jesus shirt again?

If the comments of South Shore Regional School Board superintendant Nancy Pynch-Worthylake are anything to go by, they probably will.

“I know it’s out there that somehow we don’t allow religious beliefs in school, which is absolutely false,” Pynch-Worthylake said.

“The only time is when we have students come forward and say ‘I really feel this is a criticism of my beliefs’ and that’s what happened in this situation.”

Really?

Aren’t we getting just a mite too thin-skinned about this?  Not according to Ms. Pynch-Worthylake.

“In meeting with students, we would ask ‘Is it blatantly offensive? And in this case it was ‘No.’ Is it obvious that someone would be silly to think it’s offensive? Well no — we can kind of see both [sides],” she said. “And then in meeting and talking with students we would say ‘The easy way to deal with this respectfully would be to just wear a different shirt.’”

In standing up for his Rights to Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion, William Swinimer’s refusal to take off his T-shirt was construed as “defiance” and what’s worse, “repeated defiance” and that’s why he was suspended.

School should be a place where all points of view can be expressed, where learning to accept each other’s religious viewpoints is encouraged, not bludgeoned into submission because some poor little oaf might be offended.

Standing up for one’s Rights and Freedoms should be commended, not punished.  Clearly this school district has other ideas.

Contrary to the Human Rights Commissions edicts there is no “Human Right NOT to be Offended.”  Being offended is part of life.  It happens every day.  Instead of trying to protect every person from ever being offended, shouldn’t we be teaching people, especially high-school students, that tolerance is a good thing?

Oops, I forgot.  Tolerance applies ONLY to Christians.  Only Christians are expected to be tolerant of everyone else’s religion… but are never afforded that same courtesy in return.

It’s clearly okay to bully a Christian student about his faith, but can you imagine if this case revolved around a Muslim student?

Nope, me neither.  That would simply never happen.

After being placed under the media spotlight the cowardly school bureaucrats responded just like a cockroach when the lights are turned on.  They scurried for cover anywhere they could find it.

“Would we do things differently if a similar situation arose again? Absolutely,” South Shore Regional School Board superintendant Nancy Pynch-Worthylake said.

On May 4, 2012 the South Shore Regional School Board reversed its asinine decision and will now allow William Swinimer to wear his “Life is Wasted Without Jesus” T-shirt when he returns to school.

So far as I can tell nobody has had the intestinal fortitude to actually apologize to William for being suspended for a week from school.

Am I surprised?

Sadly no, I am not.

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About Christopher di Armani

Christopher di Armani is a freelance writer and filmmaker who resides in Lytton, BC, Canada, with his wife Lynda, their dog Koda and cat, Goofball. Christopher is a strong believer in the most basic of individual human rights, the right of free speech and the right of self defense, which includes the corollary right to acquire, possess and use the tools necessary to exercise those rights. Christopher strives to awaken the passion for liberty that exists inside every person. It is this passion that motivates him in every aspect of his life.

View all posts by Christopher di Armani

6 Responses to “Religious Intolerance invades Nova Scotia School”

  1. Ray Clark Says:

    The hypocritical irony of “Political Correctness” is utterly mind blowing. It makes one wonder where this stuff comes from? I have to wonder if this vice-principal is one of the new age non-smokers – Venomous Anti Smokers – who still takes a toke before bed every night. …Back to the “Babbitt and Brass” thing. “Babbitt and Brass,” originally The drug of choice of machinists, mechanic’s and tradesmen all – Marijuana mixed with Black Hash and laced with small bits of synthetic opium and powdered cocaine. He/she has to be all Whacked Out on something for that kind of interpretation of the lad’s t-shirt and the subsequent suspension.

    Reply

    • Ray Clark Says:

      …do they have mandatory drug testing for staff at Nova Scotia private and public schools?

      Reply

  2. Don Laird Says:

    Nice Christopher……very nice.

    A little less rabid and certainly not suffering the stains of phlegm and spittle so oft found on my screeds.

    Should anyone want to contact the central figure in this story they can send her an email here:

    Strumbannfueher Nancy Pynch-Worthylake

    npynch-worthylake@ssrsb.ca

    Regards, Don Laird
    Edson, Alberta, Canada

    Reply

    • Christopher di Armani Says:

      Thanks Don. Strumbannfueher Pynch-Worthylake’s asinine comments can be translated into English thus:

      “We absolutely allow religious freedom for students…. unless someone complains, then we do not.”

      Looks like Pynch-Worthylake never learned what a RIGHT is… A Right prevails even when she doesn’t like someone else exercising it.

      Reply

  3. Kenneth G Ryan Says:

    Whether it be religion, gay rights, long guns,or even elections, I thought Democracy was closely related to the will of the majority.
    If one vote can swing any leader whether they be school or government what the Hell are we wasting our time and money having elections for?
    This affair IS NOT about a Regional School Superintendent; it’s about a School Division which permits this type of insanity taking place without clearance from Senior people and the Board of Trustees, or even higher; the Provincial Government.
    If a decision such as this can be made by a lowly Superintendent why do they need any higher administration? I would suggest six months suspension and a full review of that person’s qualifications.

    Reply

  4. Arlene Says:

    The vice principal at the school is easily found with a google search – Ruth Wilkins.

    I also found points in this article worth consideration – http://www.southshorenow.ca/archives/2012/050912/news/Public_meeting_held_at_Forest_Heights.html.php

    “. . . Among the concerns noted by parents were a teacher apparently speaking about gay rights in the classroom, some perceived intolerance of Christian traditions at the school, and the fact evolution is taught there even though some Christians are offended by that. . .”

    Reply

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