Family Research Council

In Michigan, Teacher Silenced on Censorship


By Tony Perkins
August 01, 2013

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In a Michigan high school, one professor isn't teaching a lesson--he's learning one. Hello, I'm Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. You can't use "hurt feelings" as a defense for violating someone's First Amendment rights--but that didn't stop one teacher from trying! Three years ago, on anti-bullying day, teacher Johnson McDowell showed kids who the real bully is. When a student challenged him on why the rainbow flag was acceptable, but the confederate flag wasn't, the teacher got angry. When the student said he didn't accept homosexuality because he's Catholic, McDowell kicked him out of class--a decision that landed him in federal court. The student sued--with the support of his superintendent, who told McDowell, "You disciplined students in anger under the guise of harassment... Th[ey] were causing no disruption." A federal court agreed, saying that "People [don't] have a legal right to prevent criticism of their beliefs." That's the kind of viewpoint discrimination that should be expelled in schools!

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