A 15-year-old Wisconsin boy who wrote an op-ed opposing gay adoptions was censored, threatened with suspension and called ignorant by the superintendent of the Shawano School District, according to an attorney representing the child.
Mathew Staver, the founder of the Liberty Counsel, sent a letter to Superintendent Todd Carlson demanding an apology for “Its unconstitutional and irrational censorship and humiliation” of Brandon Wegner.
Wegner, a student at Shawano High School, was asked to write an op-ed for the school newspaper about whether gays should be allowed to adopt. Wegner, who is a Christian, wrote in opposition. Another student wrote in favor of allowing gays to adopt.
Wegner used Bible passages to defend his argument, including Scripture that called homosexuality a sin.
After the op-ed was published, a gay couple whose child attend s the high school, complained.
The school immediately issued an apology – stating Wegner’s opinion was a “form of bullying and disrespect.”
The Christian kid was allegedly hauled into the superintendent’s office, and “subjected to hours of meetings” in which the the superintendent insulted him and threatened to suspend him.
Unbelievable. Granted, Wegner’s editorial is a thoroughly lame piece of rhetoric, but remember, he was asked by a teacher to take the opposing side of a controversial public issue. For this, the kid gets punished? And not only punished, but his exercise of free speech in a school paper op-ed is “bullying”?!
I hope he sues the knotted knickers off that superintendent and the school district. This is blatantly unconstitutional. Legality aside, the idea that the formal expression of an opinion that annoys a favored class is a form of violent harassment is offensive and dangerous. Note well that this kid did not get in the face of gay students, or the kid whose parents are gay, and yell at them or threaten them in any way. He expressed an opinion that hurt nothing more than these parents’ feelings.
And yes, I would say the same thing if the school had done this disgusting thing to the kid who took the pro-gay side of the argument.
UPDATE: If I had been the school newspaper advisor, I wouldn’t have allowed such a crude piece of rhetoric to be published. The responsibility here falls upon the adviser, not the kid. And even then … bullying? Really?