WV High School Students Protested the (Fake) Suppression of Their Faith September 1, 2017

WV High School Students Protested the (Fake) Suppression of Their Faith

Students at Spring Valley High School in West Virginia staged a protest this week against their administrators’ suppression of God and religious freedom. (That sound you hear is Todd Starnes climaxing.)

There’s just one problem: None of the rumors appear to be true.

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Let’s back up for a bit. A few days ago, word began spreading that the words “Under God” were no longer included in the Pledge.

Twitter user @ManWithaPlan75 — a Trump supporter whose daughter attends the school — may not be the person who began spreading this story, but his timeline gives you an idea of how this story caught fire. He also claimed that the school wouldn’t let students wear a cross or carry a Bible. (Head scarves, however, were permitted.)

Several other parents said similar things on Facebook and it led to that protest by several dozen students… who were apparently suspended for exercising their religious rights.

So what’s the real story?

The Herald-Dispatch spoke with Principal Tammy Forbush. She admits she flat-out screwed up saying the Pledge this week, but it wasn’t intentional, and she didn’t even leave out the words everyone complained about.

Forbush said she forgot the phrase “And to the Republic, for which it stands” — not “One nation, under God.”

The next day, the article notes, she said the Pledge in its entirety.

What about the allegations that students were punished for reading the Bible and wearing a shirt with a religious message on it, and that American flags had been taken down from the school grounds?

Forbush said none of those things were true, either.

“In fact, one parent was in the office complaining about the removal of flags, and that parent had walked past the flag on the large pole, and there are two in the office,” Forbush said, with at all three American flags visible in the school’s main office. “They were never removed; it didn’t happen.”

So why were all those kids suspended? Forbush wouldn’t deny that some kids were disciplined, if not suspended, but it had nothing to do with their religious beliefs.

“They’re sincere in their belief, but unfortunately when they crossed the line is when they refused to leave the commons area and go to homeroom,” Forbush said. “At no point was anybody, or will anybody, be suspended for saying ‘God,’ reading their Bible, having a Bible out, or anything like that.

“The line was crossed when they refused to go to homeroom and then additionally when they refused to go to the auditorium. It has zero to do with God, religion, flags, respect.”

In short, there’s absolutely no evidence that the school was punishing anybody on account of their Christian beliefs. They were punished for skipping class, not listening to administrators, perhaps being disrespectful… but none of the things that would lead to legitimate claims of religious persecution.

I just wanted to get that off my chest before Todd Starnes and his Fox News colleagues begin spreading their usual lies.

(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)

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