Ohio Teen: No Ten Commandments, No Homework

The high school in Marion, Ohio recently took down a Ten Commandments plaque to avoid fighting a lawsuit they are very unlikely to win, which has so upset a freshman student that he is going on strike, refusing to do any homework until they put the plaque back on the wall. Yeah, good luck with that one, kid.

“I am attending class because by law I have to attend class but I am refusing to participate,” Miller said. “I’m aware of the consequences, but I would like to get my point across.”

“I don’t care about my grades now,” he continued. “I told the principal, until there is an agreement reached, I will not participate in any Harding-related activities, any Marion City Schools-related activities. Sports, choir, classes, whatever. I won’t even wear my Harding Marching Band shirt.”

Miller insisted that the Ten Commandments are not just a religious symbol, but guidelines it would behoove all students to follow, and that he will carry on with his strike until the plaque is replaced.

“Until there is at least some agreement made between the administration and the students,” Miller said, he will continue his strike. “If it is all year,” he added, “then it is all year.”

Yeah, that’ll show ’em. Pro tip, kid: Holding your own future hostage to get what you want is probably a bad career move. And you’re wrong at every level here. The 10 Commandments are mostly religious commands, which no government school can promote. So you just keep on striking. And if you manage to force the school to put it back up, get sued and lose a big judgment, your classmates will know who to blame if the cost of that lawsuit forces them to cut back on band or other activities.

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  • cptdoom

    I won’t even wear my Harding Marching Band shirt.

    Stop! The humanity! Clearly we have to compel all other students to worship no other gods to ensure that this kid wears his marching band shirt.

    Miller insisted that the Ten Commandments are not just a religious symbol, but guidelines it would behoove all students to follow,

    Mr. Miller is free to believe this, and to preach it to his friends and fellow classmates, outside of regular class time. That’s called the First Amendment, and it is clear that this school has done a pretty miserable job explaining what that does and does not protect.

  • http://www.facebook.com/charlie.cain chuck c

    I’m sure the school will find a way to excuse his behavior so that it does not affect his future. Meanwhile, he’ll be the darling of the theocons.

  • Artor

    It sounds like someone flunked Civics class, and is now trying to collect F’s across the board. Good luck to him!

  • Henrietta Swan

    Miller insisted that the Ten Commandments are not just a religious symbol

    Another fervent believer who hasn’t actually read what he professes to believe. What he insists that everyone believe.

    “I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not have strange gods before me. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. Remember thou keep the Sabbath Day…”

    Yeah, no religious overtones there.

  • sketchvac

    Candidate for first recipient of the Michael Hayden Award??

  • peterh

    “…some agreement made between the administration and the students.”

    Can he be so dim in the dome as to not realize it’s the courts where his self-imposed martyrdom becomes totally null and void?

  • Alverant

    And when he fails to graduate or not get a merit based scholarship he’ll whine about persecution and get funds from the cons and make money from pretending to be a victim. If I were cynical I’d say that’s his plan to cover up his already-failing grades.

    Maybe he’s trying to get in the good graces of the governor who is ordering schools to link with churches in a mentoring program to get tax money.

  • John Pieret

    From the story:

    Principal Kirk Koennecke said that he plans to meet with Miller and other concerned students on January 6 to discuss alternative locations for the plaque.

    Oh hey! I know … this may be seem radical … but how about in a church?

  • roggg

    High school freshman? Does it even matter? Do colleges look that far back in the academic record? He’ll hold his breath and pout for a while, and the world will keep spinning.

  • dingojack

    So the students and the administrators of this particular school determine what the constitution says? Civics FAIL.

    Dingo

    ———

    Note his assumption that the students are behind him. I like X therefore everybody likes X (or else). Wonder how he’d feel if Satanists, Atheists, Buddhists, Muslims etc. all insisted in putting their own philosophy and/or religion on the walls? @@

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Booo! Now stage a “sit in”, hippie!

  • daved

    High school freshman? Does it even matter? Do colleges look that far back in the academic record?

    I don’t know how they do it today, but my high school class rank was based on freshman, sophomore, and junior year grades.

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    I won’t even wear my Harding Marching Band shirt.

    In a later interview, he said that if that didn’t work, he’d go home and trash all of the toys in his bedroom. If that failed, he was going with the “nuclear option.” Holding his breath until he turns blue.

    He’s to be congratulated for taking such a strong stand for God (er, I mean, non-religious principles.)

    @rogg

    Yes, they look all the way back to your freshman year. We went through the college application process with my older son last year and are repeating it this year with the younger one. They ask for all those grades. Plus the number of amalgam fillings you have, your shoe size and the average annual rainfall at your 2nd cousin’s home. Nobody’s asked for the notarized long form of a birth certificate yet, but I’m sure that’s next.

  • dugglebogey

    Do colleges look to see if you’re too stupid to understand the first amendment of the constitution?

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    I’m going to suggest that he intern this summer with Ted Cruz. If you’re going to throw tantrums to get what you want, you might as well learn from an expert.

  • D. C. Sessions

    And if you manage to force the school to put it back up, get sued and lose a big judgment, your classmates will know who to blame if the cost of that lawsuit forces them to cut back on band or other activities.

    Not to worry, Ed. They may have to give up textbooks, classroom supplies, lab equipment (a high likelihood) or other stuff associated with the inessentials often referred to as “education.” Sports? Support functions for sports such as band? Safe as can be.

  • Sastra

    Miller insisted that the Ten Commandments are not just a religious symbol, but guidelines it would behoove all students to follow …

    This is probably coming from the popular trope that religion is man-made institutions and their rules but God and what He said in the Bible are facts. Those first commandments about worshiping God aren’t “religious” because God is real and all people of the world owe Him their worship. That’s secular.

    Principal Kirk Koennecke said that he plans to meet with Miller and other concerned students on January 6 to discuss alternative locations for the plaque.

    Here’s what he can suggest: they are allowed to wear 10 Commandment plaque t-shirts or carry books covered in copies of the 10 Commandment plaque. Not urged to wear them, but allowed to. That way, the school keeps to the Constitution and the students get to march around feeling self-righteous and holy. Win-win.

  • Michael Heath

    cptdoom writes:

    Mr. Miller is free to believe this, and to preach it to his friends and fellow classmates, outside of regular class time

    Mr. Miller’s right to express his position on the 10 Commandments is protected during regular class time; as long it’s not disruptive and therefore infringing on his fellow classmates right to be educated. E.g., an in-class discussion on relevant church-state matters requires the state to protect Mr. Miller’s right to express his position. That protected speech doesn’t require the teacher to extend a passing grade if Mr. Miller’s argument is structurally unsound.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Sastra “Here’s what he can suggest: they are allowed to wear 10 Commandment plaque t-shirts or carry books covered in copies of the 10 Commandment plaque. Not urged to wear them, but allowed to.”

    Better, he could tell him that the school won’t (and can’t) prevent him from doing so, on account of the Constitution the student so misunderstands. Time remaining, he can go in to the limits on that, too, with a Morse v Frederick or somesuch.

     

    “That way, the school keeps to the Constitution and the students get to march around feeling self-righteous and holy. Win-win.”

    Wrong. It’s not win-win unless somebody loses. Everybody knows that.

  • eric

    “Until there is at least some agreement made between the administration and the students,” Miller said, he will continue his strike.

    Interesting phrasing because an agreement will be reached, it just won’t be one to his liking. So, basically, when an agreement is reached and that agreement is “no establishment of religion,” he’ll go back to doing homework?

  • oldskoolnyc

    1st of all, the kid didn’t bother to state which set of 10 he needs posted. Because, I’m sure he’s not observing the feast of weeks, or needs reminding not, to boil baby goats, in their mother’s milk, nor is he mixing the wrong kind of bread with his blood sacrifices. I’m doubtful this kid even realizes there are more than the, standard set most christians post, and doesn’t realize that only 3 are actual laws. Maybe since he’s not doing homework anymore, he can dedicate more time to Bible study, and figure out most Christians don’t bother following the commandments!

  • Stevarious, Public Health Problem

    Miller insisted that the Ten Commandments are not just a religious symbol, but guidelines it would behoove all students to follow

    Makes sense to me. How are the student going to know whether they should covet their neighbor’s slaves if they don’t have a sign telling them not to?

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Miller insisted that the Ten Commandments are not just a religious symbol, but guidelines it would behoove all students to follow…

    As opposed to the US Constitution, which is not just a good idea — it’s the law!

  • U Frood

    Miller insisted that the Ten Commandments are not just a religious symbol, but guidelines it would behoove all students to follow, and that he will carry on with his strike until the plaque is replaced.

    I hope he refrains from participating in any Marching Band activities that take place on Saturday (or Friday Night)

  • garnetstar

    And my response, as a teacher, would be “Suit yourself”.

    Lots of students get Fs because they don’t do the work, and the reasons they come up with are equally creative.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    …guidelines it would behoove all students to follow…

    Here’s a helpful guideline: everyone is expected to obey the same laws, pass the same required classes, and meet the same educational requirements, regardless of anyone’s religious beliefs; and no one is entitled to demand that their religious beliefs be represented in public spaces maintained by taxpayer money. Oh wait, that’s not a guideline, it’s THE LAW.

  • vereverum

    Here’s what he can suggest: they are allowed to wear 10 Commandment plaque t-shirts or carry books covered in copies of the 10 Commandment plaque. Not urged to wear them, but allowed to. That way, the school keeps to the Constitution and the students get to march around feeling self-righteous and holy. Win-win.

    That’s on Monday. On Tuesday another kid shows up wearing a t-shirt with the Five Pillars of Islam, or The Four Noble Truths, or perhaps just a picture of the Buddha.

    It would be fun to watch.

  • http://sidhe3141.blogspot.com JamesY2
    Miller insisted that the Ten Commandments are not just a religious symbol, but guidelines it would behoove all students to follow, and that he will carry on with his strike until the plaque is replaced.

    If people at his school are regularly breaking the good commandments (don’t kill anyone, be honest and faithful especially to the provider of thy nookie), I daresay they’ve got bigger problems.

  • D. C. Sessions

    The T-shirt suggestion misses the point entirely. It doesn’t count if he can’t make everyone endorse his cult.

  • Ethan Myerson

    WARNING, FAINT PRAISE AHEAD:

    So the kid here is misguided and wrong, but I’m going to at least applaud him for being the kind of guy who is willing to take a stand (such as it is) for what he thinks is important. Granted, it’s not much of a stand, it’s an unwinnable war, and the thing he thinks is important is not, but at least he’s got his convictions. If he directed them the right way, this kind of thing could be admirable.

  • raven

    So the kid here is misguided and wrong, but I’m going to at least applaud him for being the kind of guy who is willing to take a stand (such as it is) for what he thinks is important.

    ????? WTF!!!

    1. Osama bin Laden and 17 plane hijackers felt the same way about destroying the World Trade Center. So much so that they gave their own lives to kill 3,000 random strangers.

    2. Today, nine Taliban in Pakistan gave their lives to kill 132 school children they didn’t know for no good reason.

    Really, IMO, having courage and convictions by themselves is overrated.

  • raven

    This HS kid seems rather dumb.

    What he is doing is shooting himself in the foot and assuming anyone else cares.

    Other than his parents (maybe but not likely), no one does.

    He can get F’s, learn nothing, drop out of high school and then spend the rest of his life struggling to earn a living in a complicated Hi Tech society. LIke millions of other fundie xians. Oh well, it’s a free country, no one can stop him.

  • 4ozofreason

    They’d better hurry and put them back up. He’s about to turn blue!

  • Ethan Myerson

    Raven @31

    The part where I said it would be admirable if channeled in the right direction? That’s the part where we don’t have to pretend I’m supporting inhuman brutality. Let’s not be ridiculous about this. I’m saying this kind of action – taking a stand of civil disobedience – would have been lauded if it was done in support of removing a sectarian prayer from a school. A kid who is willing to take civil disobedient action is a kid who – once he learns some more – can be a force for good.

  • eric

    Stevarious:

    Makes sense to me. How are the student going to know whether they should covet their neighbor’s slaves if they don’t have a sign telling them not to?

    Indeed. Though I think HS students may have more of a problem with inapropriate expressions of coveting their neighbor’s ass. :)

    Ethan Myerson:

    I’m saying this kind of action – taking a stand of civil disobedience – would have been lauded if it was done in support of removing a sectarian prayer from a school.

    That’s true…because when you stand up for an unpopular good cause, you are doing something good. When you stand up for an unpopular foolish cause, you are doing something foolish. The value in civil disobedience isn’t merely in showing your willingness to speak truth to power, its also partly in showing you have the ability to recognize important truths. This guy isn’t speaking truth to power, because he’s not speaking any important truth, he’s speaking petulant religious privilege.

  • dingojack

    Not only is he ‘standing up’ for no important truth, but is speaking from power…

    Grade: F-

    Dingo

  • dono

    As George Carlin once said: “In Chicago today, a man barricaded himself in his home. He is unarmed and no one is paying any attention.”

  • Kermit Sansoo

    I’m guessing he’s getting positive feedback at church from adults who don’t understand the Constitution any better than he does. When he graduates (or drops out), he’s got a cushy job waiting for him at Brother Bubba’s gas station.

  • John Horstman

    Are we positive this isn’t the result of newspapers picking up an Onion story as though it’s true?

  • dingojack

    John Horstman – like Mr Bek, I too am a profit prophet – and I see asking questions figuring large in this young man’s future life —

    would you like fries with that?’

    Dingo