I'm really starting to feel ashamed at the city I live in. Take a look at this...
Not surprisingly, I have an "in" on this story. I have several friends with kids at this school.
"Students from Stockdale High School are upset after being told by the school
district they can't hand out Bibles to fellow classmates. "
Yeah. Ummm. Not really.
Brant Bonetti, the young man in question, brought out the Bibles to hand them out in tandem with yearbooks. As a student would approach the table to get their yearbook, Bonetti asked them if they wanted a Bible. He was NOT told he couldn't hand Bibles out to other students, just that he could not do so during school hours, on school property, during a school sanctioned activity (handing out yearbooks).
Administrators said while the students have good intentions, the Bibles cannot
Again...this is not quite true. Bonetti stated that these Bibles were "for his friends and fellow grads". He was told by administration, after they received calls from STUDENTS who felt weird about this, that he had to hand the Bibles out on his own time. That's a far cry from saying "you may not hand these out" period.
One student said the district has violated the student's first amendment rights.
The Kern High School District said rules are rules and they stand by their
decision. Stockdale High graduate Brant Bonetti, it all started with a simple
yet thoughtful idea. We raised money earlier in the year, about $1,700 to go
ahead and buy Bibles, said Bonetti. Enough so that if every graduating senior
wanted one they could have one.
And, what about those who did not want one? Giving out a Bible to your friends is a thoughtful gesture. I can't dispute that. If his heart was in the right place, which I'm sure it was, then Mr. Bonetti could've done this on his own time. In fact, I daresay the gift would've been more special. Instead, it was treated like a prison line-up where you get your clothes and your Bible from the guy behind the desk. Not only is handing them out with yearbooks tacky as hell, it's also inappropriate. Another thing that strikes me is that $1700 is a lot of cash. Would that money not have been better spent by helping a local charity?
The Vanderbilt bound 18-year-old thought it would be a nice gesture to give away
Bibles to students as they picked up their diplomas the day after graduation. I
may not see these people for the rest of my life and this is just one more
opportunity for God to impact them, said Bonetti.
And, here we have it...this wasn't about a gesture between Bonetti and some friends. It's about gathering souls. How egotistical can you be? Mr. Bonetti, if you are reading this, why is it that you think these people would not choose God if it weren't for your presence? If your God exists, then surely that deity could impact people without your sanction, presence, or Bible.
Five minutes into the giveaway, Bonetti was called into the principal's office.
He said 'You can't pass out the Bibles,' said Bonetti. I said, 'What do you
mean? I already got this cleared and everything,' and he said, 'Someone from the
district office called us and we're going to have to stop you from doing it.'
What no one mentions is that other students were calling home and parents were calling the district. These students and parents were uncomfortable with this. I don't blame them! And, if I were a non-Christian student waiting for my yearbook, I would be incredibly annoyed by some holier than though kid offering me a Bible. A student shouldn't have to dodge evangelism in schools. Less than two miles away from Stockdale High School is Bakersfield Christian High School. Go there and hand out Bibles. Heck! I'll drive you! But, doing it in a public school setting during school hours is a bunch of crap. How would it go down if every person receiving a yearbook had to go down a receiving line where they had the opportunity to reject or accept the religious texts of every religion or, let's say, "God is Not Great" by Hitchens? That would be an awfully long line.
The Kern High School District said passing out Bibles violated regulations. John
Teves from the Kern High School District said, Printed material like the Bible
can't be distributed during a school sponsored activity.
For once, the KHSD did the right thing!
We just want there to be a level playing field, said Bonetti. Whether it's me
handing out a Bible, or my friend handing out a Koran, those students have the
right. Teves said the school district wants to re-examine the rule so there's no
confusion next year."
A "level playing field"? A level playing field would've included Mr. Bonetti calling every other religious group in the locale and telling them he was going to give people "one more chance" to accept his God, so maybe they might want to come pass out a Gita', the Koran, a Book of Mormon, The God Delusion, or some other religious text. Hanging out a Bible with yearbooks, where students are forced to make a public display of their faith where they may not want to do so, is NOT A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD!