Diversity of Thought Allowed at Bangor Area High School, But Not Threats

Diversity of Thought Allowed at Bangor Area High School, But Not Threats

This is the kind of story that makes one read it twice, just to make sure that you really are reading the facts correctly, because school administrators actually used wisdom and discretion.

Bangor Area High School in Pennsylvania was having an “awareness week,” put on by the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance group. The last day of the week was dedicated to LGBT issues, and students were encouraged to wear rainbow colored shirts to show their support.

But two students, who were on the school’s televised morning announcements, decided instead to wear Chick-fil-A T-shirts to school instead.
And because this is the 21st century, the Tweets began to fly.

The appearance started a flurry of tweets, with students calling out the two boys who wore the Chick-fil-A shirts.

(18 year old Erin) Snyder responded to a tweet in support of the students in the Chick-fil-A shirt that said, “You’re expressing your feelings … Why can’t he?” Her response was, “Being an offensive [expletive] is not expressing your feelings.”

(16 year old Jeff) Vanderpool tweeted, “Shout-out to the [expletive] in the Chik-fil-A shirts,” after seeing the two students on his homeroom’s television last Friday morning.

Come Monday morning, there was a meeting in the principal’s office, where Snyder, Vanderpool, and about 13 other students were suspended.

The tweets continued over the weekend, and on Monday students who tweeted at the boys wearing the shirts were called to the high school principal’s office.

Students were told they were being punished for tweeting during school hours, and because some of their tweets contained obscenities, Snyder said.

As it turns out, the school district has a policy about the use of technology during school hours.

Students are permitted to bring cellphones, iPods, tablets, MP3 players and other electronic devices to school, but such devices must be turned off during school hours, between 7:20 a.m. and 2:05 p.m., according to the district’s policy handbook.

The ACLU now wants to get themselves involved (just in case they can find a loophole in the district policy), and naturally, the parents are all upset that there was diversity of opinion.

Vanderpool’s mother, Pam Vanderpool, called the situation awful.

“You want to encourage everyone to be their own person, and for someone to decide it’s OK for those two students to go on a morning show and wear a shirt like that with no repercussions, what is the school saying? That it’s OK?” she said.

“No repercussions”? Let that one sink in for a moment. Two student expressed an opinion, the same as any other student who wore a shirt supporting LGBT kids, and this parent wants “repercussions” because her son violated school district policy and got himself suspended. Why, where have I been hearing a similar ongoing argument about the consequences of speech lately?

So, kudos to the school for not punishing students who dared to express an non-politically correct opinion, and boo on the parents who are upset that their darling snowflakes got caught up in breaking rules because they were shocked that someone dared question them.

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