Atheist high school student’s ordeal ends

There are, no doubt, many quiet cases of religious discrimination that never make headlines. A submission to the News Wire alerted me to this one, but I was unable to post it on the Wire, because the story is told in three separate installments on a blog.

The story begins on 27 April, when high-school student Reed Braden lends one of his atheist friends a copy of The God Delusion, incurring the wrath of his friend’s father. Subsequently, Braden’s principal opens an investigation on Braden and threatens him with punishment, for, among other reasons, forcing the school into an establishment clause violation, and bringing to school a book not in line with the school’s curriculum. The principal goes so far as to assert that Braden would be breaking a rule if he himself were to read The God Delusion (or, for that matter, The Grapes of Wrath) on campus. Finally, two full months later, Braden gets the administration to back off.

No word on whether the principal has officially apologized to Braden for wasting his time. I suppose apologies aren’t in line with the school’s curriculum.

About Bradley Bowen
  • vjack

    I suspect that this sort of thing happens far more often than most people realize. Had Reed not been the author of a widely read atheist blog, we’d never have heard about it. It makes me wonder how many similar cases there are that simply ended with the student caving in and not taking the matter any further.

  • CyberKitten

    Wow….. [checks date to see if April 1st has come around again…

    This is for real…. right?

    Amazing the gall of some people!

  • Steve

    Unbelievable. I’m glad things worked out.

  • Sheldon

    My first reaction also was “Wow”. That is an incredible story, and if true very chilling.

    “…forcing the school into an establishment clause violation, and bringing to school a book not in line with the school’s curriculum.”

    The establishment clause issue is obviously bullshit! That would mean a kid simpling bringing a bible to school is also a violation. I wonder how many books in the school library are actually outside of the school’s curriculum? I hope lots! Curriculums are teaching guides for focusing subject matter to be taught in the parameters of limited amounts of time.

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