“We would let you print your letter
But we think it would be better
If it didn’t point out places where our policies are wrong;
We’re not happy with your saying
School board meetings start with praying
And there’s indirect coercion—can’t we all just get along?”
First amendment violation
Seems a hobby in this nation
When the Christians in majority think they can set the rules
They so often act unfairly
And it’s pointed out so rarely
But it seems as clear as Krystal, there’s a problem in the schools.
With authorities denying
Publication, they are trying
To prevent a conflagration, and disruption, so they say;
Though their motives may be noble
There’s this “internet” that’s global
And the schools are going to learn that it’s a brave new world today.
She’s also an atheist in a predominantly Christian student body.
In a recent editorial that Myers, 18, intended for the Lenoir City High School newspaper entitled “No Rights: The Life of an Atheist,” she questioned her treatment by the majority.
Now that Lenoir City High School administrators have refused its publication, the whole world can read it here. It reads, to me, like a fairly typical high school student editorial, pointing out things that the school is doing that need improvement.
Except that this time, two things are different. The writer is an atheist, and the things that need improvement happen to be constitutional violations.
The school is refusing to publish the letter because it would cause a disruption in school. And of course, they are right. As we’ve seen in Cranston, reminding a Christian majority that their privileged actions are unconstitutional cannot be expected to result in a simple “my bad; I’ll change.” Comments on the Knoxville News Sentinel story are already a bit of a whirlwind. As I write, some calmer voices are showing up, but we have already had the litany of prominent atheists (classic example: Jeffrey Dahmer) brought up to show how all atheists are evil.
But now the school has some decisions to make. After Cranston and elsewhere, they cannot be ignorant of their policies and practices. Let us hope, for their sake, that they change before they are forced to spend a lot of money on lawyers. Krystal Myers seems a bright and motivated person, and as Cranston found out, those can be a particular force of nature.