My daughter wears her faith on her shirt sometimes. Her collection of tees include slogans like, “When Jesus comes back, I am SO out of here,” and, “I’m not afraid to tell the world about Jesus.” Along with her Christian concert tee shirts, these barely get a second glance from her Freshman teachers and friends. I can’t imagine her getting suspended from the public high school she attends. So when I hear the reasoning behind why a Canadian 12th-grader was expelled for wearing a “Life is Wasted without Jesus” tee–and that he might not even get to graduate next month– I have to wonder if perhaps a “Let’s Get Wasted” shirt would have been less offensive in the eyes of these administrators:
Should a student be suspended for wearing a ‘Jesus’ T-shirt?Should grade 12 student William Swinimer have been suspended from school for wearing this T-shirt? (Global News) A Nova Scotia high school student who was suspended for wearing a Jesus T-shirtsays he won’t stop wearing it – even if that means he’ll be suspended for the rest of the year.Grade 12 student William Swinimer was suspended for five days for wearing a T-shirt that read, “Life is wasted without Jesus.”Some teachers and students found the T-shirt offensive, according to Nancy Pynch-Worthylake, the superintendent of the South Shore Regional School Board.”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.If the T-shirt had read, “My Life is wasted without Jesus,” that would have been fine.
But Swinimer, who is a devout Christian, says the T-shirt is an expression of his beliefs.
He wore the T-shirt every day to class for several weeks, ignoring repeated requests from the school principal that he stop.
“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 News.
- N.S. school board turns to mediation in fracas over ‘offensive’ Christian T-shirt (vancouversun.com)
- Suspended student says he’ll keep wearing Jesus T-shirt (ctv.ca)
- N.S. student suspended for wearing pro-Jesus T-shirt (ctv.ca)
- Nova Scotia school to debate religious T-shirt controversy (theglobeandmail.com)