You have got to be kidding me. According to this article, an Oklahoma high school suspended a 15-year-old student after accusing her of making a teacher sick with a magic spell. A magic spell, fercryinoutloud. Yet another backwoods corner of America manages to get into the limelight in a feat of sheer idiocy.
In an added twist of absurdity, the accusation is based on the fact that the girl read a book about Wicca in the library, even though she is in fact a Catholic. It’s really heartwarming to see Christian paranoia alive and kicking in the almost-21st century.
That article contains a prominent advisement that the school district had not commented and in fact could not comment, but did dispute the facts:
Therefore, what you have here is the girl’s version of what happened and why she was suspended – and that’s all. I’m not saying she’s wrong, necessarily; I’m saying that there is only one side of this story presented here, and that those of you pointing out how ridiculous the school district has been are doing so without hearing their side of it. I might file suit to allege that my employer had me kidnapped, by a UFO, but it ain’t necessarily so.
Beadalin, where do you see that anyone accussing her of being a witch is ‘Christian’? On what are you basing your “Christian paranoia” statement? In the article to which you provided a link, only the accused girl’s religion was indicated. You seem to be on a bit of witch hunt yourself.
This has all the elements of an urban myth or a misreported story. The fact that the school can’t comment but is angry at being unable to talk about the facts suggests that they have accused the student of something else (e.g. poisoning or drugging the teacher, which has happened in other schools) and the parents are claiming it’s a “Different kid witch hunt.”
I find it highly unlikely that the school disciplined her for casting a spell, and highly likely that the school disciplined her for something else and they’re attacking a straw man with the ACLU’s dime.
You’re right, Myndephuquer, I did completely jump to conclusions about the religion there, which was unfair of me. Sorry about that. Also, as Jodi pointed out, the school hasn’t commented, so who knows what the full truth of the matter is? Assuming the suit is based on fact, however, it’s really disturbing, and I posted this while I was still fully aggravated by it. Should have waited and re-read the story with the school board’s quote in mind.
I will watch the story with interest, I can tell you that.
It would seem that there is a history of animosity between the school and the kid, starting with a totally unjustified suspension during a post-Columbine witch hunt last year, as I had suspected.
The school has frankly screwed this up eighty ways from Sunday, even if they’re not making “accusations of witchcraft.” Frankly, her family should have sued them LAST year when her belongings were stolen by the school and she was suspended for no reason.
RickJay, maybe the girl cast a spell on the school officials to make them think that they can’t comment. Maybe she planned this out a lot better than she’s being given credit for. I think the school should sue the little girl for casting a spell to make them think that they can’t talk about the girl casting spells. I wonder, if they tick that girl off, if she’ll go to the prom and make the walls bleed and the school burn down and make an old car come to life and run everybody in the school over, and make the ones that live through that die when they fall asleep and start dreaming about groundskeeper Willie?
(btw, Beadalin, you have been an awesome example of grace and manners to me. I didn’t mean my response to be rude, but sometimes, when you present a (maybe even valid) reply to someone (especially in the pit), and they aren’t in the mood to hear it, you get a burning sensation around your jugular. You rock.)
I went to the link posted by RickJay and read the ACLU complaint. This poor girl doesn’t stand a chance with the “adults” conducting the inquisition in her school. Shame on the Tulsa “educators” involved.
On the other foot, while the school is prohibited by state and federal statute from commenting (on its own initiative), I would suspect that, if Oklahoma has a Freedom of Information Law of some sort, a properly worded request under it (i.e., not specifically referring to this case, but to “cases in which students have been suspended in which there have been some allegations regarding witchcraft and/or wiccan or pagan beliefs or practices, with their disposition if any” – i.e., this case but defined as part of a class of records) could get the truth of the matter out in public. Any Sooner dopers interested in pursuing it?
My WAG is that the Student was not punished for “casting a spell”, but for threats. It happened before, when a student was kicked out for doing a “voodoo curse’- not that anyone (I hope) beleived that the curse would actually work- but that is is a threat (of sorts). That article does mention the students notebooks having threats. The 'sickness” might very well just be “stress”, and it is easy to see how a teacher could get stressed about a student hating her enuf to threaten her and 'cast spells".
And it is a public school, not a Christian one, so at least this once, the “Christian bashing” is not needed.
If the threat was related to casting a spell, it’s not a threat. “I will cast a spell on you” is no more a threat than “Xgty hhhw ncnqwiovkl e!” There is no such thing as magic, so nobody should reasonably fear a “threat” to use magic.
Point first: when you’re talking about the Buckle of the Bible Belt, it is NOT some sort of mad rush to judgement to assume that an official is a Christian, particularly in a small town (which this is). I can’t find any population by religion breakdowns at the moment, but I’d be willing to put money on the issue if anyone’s interested. Any takers?
Point second: although I agree that the information is currently limited to the girl’s side of the story, as a native Oklahoman I was not at all surprised by this incident. Horrified, yes; saddened, yes; shocked, no. This kind of crap ain’t that unusual here, kids, it just doesn’t make the news very often. Peer pressure and social forces are WONDERFUL tools.
Nor do I find it particularly surprising that these school administrators might believe in witchcraft. That’s a fairly common belief among fundamentalists here, as are demon possession and satanic possession. Scary, ain’t it?
The reports I’ve seen locally state that the girl was suspended shortly after Columbine because she had written one story about an incident at school, even though that story was one of a multitude that she had written. Then she was prohibited from wearing a pentacle to school, even though the school allows other religous jewelry. Then she was suspended over the spell-casting business. In interviews, she also talked about the harassment she’s received from other students - something that is HIGHLY likely in small-town Oklahoma.
I find this to be an entirely believable scenario. I won’t claim it is fact until there is more information, but it is not at all unlikely. Sad but true.
I’m sure Oklahoma has some sort of FOI laws, but I’m not sure to what they would apply or where to look for more info. Jodi, Polycarp, anybody - can you give me any hints as to where I might start or what agency to ask?
Would casting an evil spell (if that is what happened) count as hate speech, even if magic spells are bunk? Sort of the same as saying ‘Someone should burn down that synagogue’ even if no one takes you up on the offer.
OK, let me put it this way- the student apparently said (or wrote): “I hate you and I want to harm you”- true, the METHOD of "harm’ was innocuous, but not the desire or hate.
Students should not hate their teachers and desire harm to come to them.
redati: I would not be surprised either if the teacher was a Christian- the the School administration is not Christian.