Texas student suspended for ripping up Bible

Nov. 3, 2013 at 4:45 PM

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, Texas, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- A student said he plans to sue the Birdville (Texas) Independent School District for suspending him for tearing his Bible after being bullied for being gay.

Isaiah Smith, 18, said he took his Bible to Birdville High School with him Oct. 29 because he had been bullied by fellow students for his sexual orientation. During first-period Spanish, when students began bullying him and telling him he was going to hell, he tore pages out of the Book of Leviticus, saying it was the book of the Bible often quoted in gay-bashing.

Smith was called to the vice principal's office Wednesday where he was issued a three-day suspension for disrupting class, the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram reported Saturday.

Smith's suspension slip said he was being punished for causing a "distraction and disruption in class by tearing up Bible in class."

The American Humanist Association is representing Smith for free in his attempt to have the school district remove the punishment from his record, the newspaper said.

"Isaiah's Bible was not the source of disruption, the bullying was. Instead of reprimanding the bullies, the school punished Isaiah for offering an alternative viewpoint on the Bible," said Bill Burgess, an attorney with the organization.

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