AHA News |  

Gay High School Student Suspended for Ripped Bible Has Record Cleared

For Immediate Release

Contact:

Maggie Ardiente, mardiente@americanhumanist.org, 202-238-9088 x116
Monica Miller, mmiller@americanhumanist.org 202-238-9088 x 120

(Washington, DC, Dec. 5, 2013) — A suspension on the record of a Texas high school student who was disciplined for ripping his own Bible in class has been removed following the involvement of the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center. The settlement also includes explicit permission for Isaiah Smith, the student at Birdville High School in North Richland Hills, TX, to continue carrying his ripped Bible in school.

Smith, an African-American gay student at the school, states he was bullied by other students who repeatedly told him that "being gay is a sin" and "gays go to hell." In protest, Smith tore pages of Leviticus from a personal copy of the Bible and was sent to the assistant principal’s office as a result. Smith reported the bullying and was asked to not tear any more pages from his Bible. Several days later, however, administrators suspended Smith for merely carrying the ripped Bible to school.

“Smith’s free speech rights were violated, and we’re pleased to see his record cleared of any discipline he didn’t deserve,” said Appignani Humanist Center attorney Monica Miller. “We appreciate the willingness of school administrators to resolve this issue quickly.”

Negotiations began after a letter was sent on Oct. 31, 2013 from the Appignani Humanist Legal Center to the Birdville Independent School District outlining the free speech and religious freedom constitutional violations that had occurred. Final discussions with school administrators ended yesterday.

###

Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, DC, the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other non-religious Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming philosophy of humanism, which—without beliefs in any gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

Special thanks to the Louis J. Appignani Foundation for their support of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.

 

American Humanist Association

What would you say if your child wanted to believe in God but you don't? Ethical...

8 hours ago

American Humanist Association

The 2014 year is coming to an end and theHumanist.com has compiled a list of the...

11 hours ago

American Humanist Association

Tis the season to be a heathen! Check out great freethought merchandise at Evolv...

13 hours ago

American Humanist Association

Five stars for Fighting Back the Right, the new book from AHA's David Niose, fro...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Many humanists celebrate Human Light or the Winter Solstice around this time of...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

A South Carolina school district has agreed to stop sponsoring religious fundrai...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

This week on the Humanist Hour Podcast, James Croft discusses the complex issues...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

We're happy to welcome a new chapter, Freethought Fort Wayne, to the American Hu...

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

"It’s not just about the freedom to enjoy marijuana anymore...This is about the...

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

There's only a few holiday shopping days left: Buy your favorite freethinker a g...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Bill Nye, our favorite science guy, explains evolution by using emoji..."emojica...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Out today! Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on Reason...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Congratulations to the Las Vegas Coalition of Reason on the occasion of their of...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

The Humanist Service Corps has volunteer positions open beginning in summer 2015...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

In a response to a letter sent by the AHA, today we are pleased to report that t...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Most Americans say they accept Christian displays on public property, regardless...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

UBER car service has been getting in to some trouble lately, but will that stop...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

A date for history, as today marks the anniversary of the ratification of the U....

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

One more day! Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on Rea...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

It's almost here! Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy Friday everyone! Enjoy some comics!

7 days ago