Wisconsin School Punishes Christian Kid for Being a… Christian Kid

Superintendent Todd Carlson of Shawano High School in Shawano, Wisconsin is sorry a student observed his First Amendment rights and had his article published in the school newspaper that denounces homosexuals adopting children. And so Superintendent Carlson is making amends by punishing this Christian kid for being so darn Christian. Superintendent Carlson has also decided in his infinite wisdom to censure this article by having it sent down the memory hole so that no one else will be confronted with this evil Christian’s views.

That’ll show that darn Christian kid, won’t it?

The article, “Should Homosexual Partners Be Bale to Adopt?,” was written by Brandon Wegner who was assigned the task of writing a counter-point to another student’s pro-homosexual adoption article. The piece was then published as an insert in the school newspaper, the Shawano Leader.

Shortly after the newspapers containing the insert were distributed, Superintendent Carlson issued a formal apology to the school and parents, removed the insert from surplus issues of the paper, and censured young Mr. Wegner claiming his article violated the school’s “anti-bullying” policy.

Wegner says that Carlson grabbed him up out of class and began to brow beat him in an attempt to get the kid to disavow his religious-based beliefs. According to Liberty Counsel, a First Amendment law firm, Wegner was quixotically bullied by Superintendent Carlson in an attempt to deter bullying.

Brandon was hauled before the superintendent on charges that he had violated the school’s bullying policy. Superintendent Todd Carlson told him that the column “went against the bullying policy,” and asked him if he “regretted” writing it. When Mr. Wegner stated that he did not regret writing it, and that he stood behind his beliefs, Superintendent Carlson told him that he “had got to be one of the most ignorant kids to try to argue with him about this topic,” that “we have the power to suspend you if we want to” and that the column had “personally offended me, so I know you offended other people!”

Carlson’s action is itself “ignorant.” Ignorant of our American laws, ignorant of tenets of tolerance, ignorant of public comportment, ignorant for abuse of his position as an authority figure, and just plain ignorant in a moral fashion.

Carlson’s bullying also makes the lie to the claim that our schools are meant to teach our children. The truth seems to be that Mr. Carlson simply wants to indoctrinate, not help students come to their own conclusions when offered all sides of the issues.

In fact, the school newspaper deserves kudos for having handled the issue properly. It gave room to advocates of both sides to air their views so that readers could make up their own minds. But Carlson doesn’t want any of this horrid teaching going on. He wants to tell kids what to think based on his own warped, left-wing ideology. None of this freedom of choice nonsense in HIS school, I’ll tell you what.

Superintendent Carlson should be fired. Not because he’s an extremist liberal, but because he has violated this kid’s rights at worst and violated the principals of actual teaching at best. He is no educator. He is an indoctrinator and that is just un-American.

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  • Commander_Chico

    Free speech in America is in danger.  Fortunately, I grew up in the 1970s, when we could say anything in the school newspaper.

    • Obviously you never proposed nude cheerleader pictures (just on the inside), but your point is taken.

    • 914

      Fortunately, we hashed it out on the playground! The sissies expressed their outrage in yellow journalism..

  • EricSteel

    I think this kid’s article is poorly written and unconvincing, and if the allegations about the Superintendent are true then he is the one who needs to be disciplined.

  • GarandFan

    The article, “Should Homosexual Partners Be Able to Adopt?”,”
    was written by Brandon Wegner who was assigned the task of writing a
    counter-point to another student’s pro-homosexual adoption article.

    The Super is the one who needs to be disciplined.  Or is he so intellectually in-bred that he doesn’t comprehend the idea of point and counter-point?  Most probably he’s one of those “diversity-loving” liberals who welcomes all points of view, as long as they coincide with his beliefs.

    • herddog505

      My brother has a couple of good sayings about the left:

      “You are free to say anything that agrees with what we think” and;

      “Diversity is when people who look different all think the same.”

  • jim_m

    The problem with many on the left is that, like the superintendant here, they believe that voicing a contrary point of view ought to be illegal.  It’s the shelter of those who are unable to articulate a defense of their own ideas.  Shut up those who oppose you, thereby eliminating any intellectual opposition to your ideas no matter how stupid they may or may not be.

  • The allegations against the superintendent were made by a lawyer for an advocacy group, not the most reliable source for unbiased information.  How about waiting for the facts to be determined before leaping to conclusions and passing judgment? 

    • jim_m

      The problem with that is that the allegations are utterly believable as similar occurrances have happened elsewhere.  School administrators have long ago taken a zero tolerance position with regard to everything they don’t agree with. 

      They don’t like guns, you can’t even draw a picture of a gun. They don’t like knives, you can’t even have a pocket knife in your car inthe parking lot.  They don’t like drugs, you can’t even have an aspirin in your purse.  They don’t like prayer in school so you can’t say grace by yourself at the lunch table.  The list goes on.

      The problem is the old joke about those that can’t do, teach.  Today’s schools are run by educators who couldn’t do and who can’t teach either.  They are seemingly unable to wrap their heads around the fact that tolerance doesn’t mean everyone else shuts up about their beliefs.

      I have no problem believing that some leftist educator tried to ram his ideology down a student’s throat and I have no problem believing that the same person abused his position to try to ruin a student’s life and future educational prospects in the same effort.  The fact that there is a vibrant industry of legal services representing these victems should tell you how common it is.

      The jurisprudence on matters of personal conscience is pretty clear.  The school district will be apologizing in the near future.

  • Greg Wood

    Reason number 2,038 why we homeschool.

  • Reason number 127,456 why government should have no role in running schools.

  • I agree that the piece is neither well-written nor particularly persuasive, but that misses the point entirely.

    The very interesting point to consider is that speech (the opinion piece) has now been raided to the level of action, in that the article is considered to have violated the district’s anti-bullying code! And the code apparently takes precedence over three of the five first freedoms: freedom of the press, freedom of speech and the freedom of religion. THAT’S CHILLING on its face.

    If so, does this young man not have the right to be confronted by his accusers?  Where’s the victim here?  Who was injured?

    Also frightening is the fact that young Brandon is being treated as if he has no First Amendment rights in our nation where the Supreme Court has already ruled that students and school newspaper journalists are indeed afforded these protections.

    Liberty Counsel is going to have some heads on sticks, you can bet short odds on that.

    • Commander_Chico

      Unfortunately, there has been some bad precedent in recent years, like the one where the kid wearing the pot t-shirt – outside school – was suspended and the Supreme Court supported that.

      • The_Weege_99

        Chico, that incident happened when the school class, as a class, went to some public event, and the student and his friend waved a pro-pot banner. It may have been physically outside of school, but it was still a school event. Schools have the authority to punish a student for behavior at a school event that would also have been punishable if done in school.

  • Brucehenry

    While I agree that this superintendent is an idiot and that the Christian kid is indeed being treated unfairly, I suggest the graphic accompanying this article is, ummm, somewhat misleading.

    It suggests that this kid’s nutbag, Leviticus-based view of homosexuality is the “American” view, and to suggest otherwise is to suggest that “America Is Bad.” Nothing could be further from reality.

    Read the polls. Most Americans don’t subscribe to this kid’s point of view, even if majorities don’t yet, in all states, agree with the OTHER kid’s opinion, either.

    • LiberalNightmare

      Validity of the polls aside, why do they matter? Freedom of speech, freedom of religion – basic tenants of the constitution last time I checked.

      Do you really want to live in a world where the majority decides which viewpoints are valid?

      • Brucehenry

        Jesus, LN, do you really think that’s what I was saying?

        My point was about the graphic, Einstein. It suggests that this kid’s anti-gay viewpoint is the “American” one. Polls say it’s not. That’s my only point. 

        I expressly SAID that the kid is being treated unfairly. He has a right to express his opinion, indeed he apparently was ASKED to do so. My argument was not with the kid, or even with his viewpoint, which I personally consider warped.

        I’m not disagreeing with the basic tenets (not “tenants”) of the Constitution, LN. Read carefully.

        • LiberalNightmare

          You brought it up pal …

          >>Read the polls. Most Americans don’t subscribe to this kid’s point of
          view, even if majorities don’t yet, in all states, agree with the OTHER
          kid’s opinion, either.

          My question is simple – why do the polls matter?

          • Brucehenry

            They DON’T, Brainiac, except in regard to THIS GRAPHIC, which is what I am talking about. Jesus Christ.

            By “graphic,” I mean the PICTURE accompanying this article here at Wizbang. The one that shows the angry-looking, presumably liberal, woman and a sign that says “America Is Bad.”

            The graphic implies that this kid’s position is the “American” position. It is not, according to the polls.

            This is not about the polls in regard to what the policy should be as to gay adoption or marriage or whatever. As a matter of fact, the First Amendment is there precisely to PROTECT speech which may not be the most popular viewpoint. I AM IN FAVOR OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT. 

            I am simply pointing out, Dumbass, that the anti-gay position that this kid apparently espouses is NOT the “American” position.

            Get it now? Oh my God.

          • LiberalNightmare

            And I say again – what difference does the relative popularity of the opinion make?

            Simple question.

          • Brucehenry

            Can you read at all?

            The polls DON’T matter in regard to what this kid believes, whether or not he believes it, whether or not his position is sensible, or whether or not it is the right policy prescription for the country. The polls DON’T matter.

            Except in regard to my point. It’s a very minor one, not about the bigger issues at all. And my only point is that the graphic implies that this kid’s position is the majority position, and it is NOT.

            By extension, I am suggesting that whoever chose this graphic for this article made a misleading choice.

            That’s it. Nothing else. Not about the rightness or wrongness of the kid’s position. Not saying that the majority position is better than his. Simply that his position is not that of the majority, and the graphic implies that it IS. It ain’t.

            Your handle is apt. It really is a nightmare trying to talk to someone being deliberately obtuse. (Look it up.)

            BTW, in case you missed it, I am AGREEING with the premise of the article.

          • LiberalNightmare

            >>The polls DON’T matter in regard to what this kid believes, whether or
            not he believes it, whether or not his position is sensible, or whether
            or not it is the right policy prescription for the country. The polls
            DON’T matter.

            >>>The polls
            DON’T matter.


          • Brucehenry

            Two different pieces of advice for you, LN.

            If you are being deliberately obtuse, grow up. 

            If, after reading repeated explanations of a very simple point, you sincerely can’t grasp it, you are too stupid to live. You should kill yourself.

          • LiberalNightmare

            I suppose I am being deliberately obtuse.

            But only because I don’t think you have that option, and I wanted to keep it fair.

  • So to use the same logic, principals also shouldn’t be able to punish KKK kids for being in the KKK, when they use the school’s official paper to publish an article saying that black people shouldn’t have equal rights.

    • LiberalNightmare

      And they shouldn’t be punished for burning flags, protesting for teachers collective bargaining “rights”, or for listening to loud disagreeable music.


    • I think you would find, El Bruce, that a school newspaper sponsor/editor/advisor would have the sense not to assign two writers a pro/con editorial on that subject. 

      Unlike the as-yet-unnamed advisor who assigned this piece to the two kids who wrote them.  I find it notable that this person has not been identified or singled out for discipline, particularly as the school superintendent, in his statement of apology, also pledged to prevent such things from happening again.  If that’s so, then in truth it is incumbent upon the school to prevent an assignment from being given, rather than on a 15 year old student standing up to whomever thinks such a controversial assignment is suitable for a high school paper.

  • Magic1955

    Sounds to me with a reasonably good lawyer this boy could go to Harvard Free of charge and have the moron superintendent carring his books for the whole four years.  Of course, the leftist believe they can force everyone to believe their drival because no one make them pay a price for their stupidity.