Teachers Suspended For Sprinkling “Holy Water” On Atheist Colleague

Last weekend I discussed the incident in which a teacher accused two other teachers of bullying her over her atheism by threatening to sprinkle her with “holy water” (in the form of a bottle of perfume).  I agreed with the atheist teacher’s assessment that she was being bullied but did not think the passive aggressive teachers who did it should be fired for such mild, one time only bullying. Now the Broward School Board has come down with suspensions for the offending teachers and on grounds that I can get behind:

It’s alleged that you upbraided and embarrassed a teacher…in front of a classroom of students.

So, it seems to me that the suspendable infraction was treating a fellow teacher with contempt (without justifiable cause) in front of students.  They undoubtedly deserve punishment for that as a matter of school order alone.  Had the incident not happened in front of a room full of students, I would support the obnoxious bullies’ rights to mild teasing as I did on Sunday.  Here’s a video news report with details and interviews with relevant parties, including some smug preachers and a Tea Party activist looking to exploit the incident for their religious and political ends:

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Your Thoughts?

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.