Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Florida School: We Must Protect Muslims from Christianity

A few students in Alachua County schools in Florida were sent home when they showed up wearing shirts bearing the message "Islam is of the Devil." School officials do not believe that such action is restricting the First Amendment rights of these children, from the Dove World Outreach Center, to declare the exclusivity of Jesus Christ in this manner.

From "'Devil' shirts send kids home" by Christopher Curry, Gainesville Sun Staff writer 8/26/09

School district staff attorney Tom Wittmer said the shirts violated a district ban on clothing that may "disrupt the learning process" or cause other students to be "offended or distracted."

"Students have a right of free speech, and we have allowed students to come to school wearing clothes with messages," Wittmer said. "But this message is a divisive message that is likely to offend students. Principals, I feel reasonably, have deemed that a violation of the dress code."

Wittmer said the school district allows students to express their religious beliefs but also must protect other students, such as members of the Muslim faith, from discrimination based on their religious beliefs.

On their front, the T-shirts had a verse from the Gospel of John: "Jesus answered I am the way and the truth and the life; no one goes to the Father except through me," and this statement, "I stand in trust with Dove Outreach Center." The message "Islam is of the Devil" is on the back of the shirt.

All of the Dove members interviewed said that, while they would not like a student wearing a shirt with an anti-Christian message on it to school, they believed students have the right to do it.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.